-Source-Chicago Tribune- Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a bill into law Monday that beginning Jan. 1 will require health insurance companies in Illinois to cover the preservation of eggs sperm and embryos for patients with cancer and certain other diseases. Those patients often have to undergo treatments that can leave them sterile. Yet until now not all insurers have covered the costs of preserving their fertility. Sperm freezing can cost as little as a couple of hundred dollars while the process of preserving eggs and embryos can cost more than $10000. About 5800 Illinois residents of reproductive age between 14 and 45 are diagnosed with cancer each year according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. I think this is going to be a game-changer for men and women in Illinois who face life saving but fertility-threatening cancer treatments" said Teresa Woodruff director of the Oncofertility Consortium at Northwestern University which has spent years pushing for such a measure. The bill faced initial opposition from insurance industry groups which were concerned that the costs of coverage would be spread to all consumers. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois ultimately supported the bill.
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