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Elliott sponsoring legislation on infertility, school board pay

Danville’s state representative is sponsoring legislation this session that would require health insurance companies to cover infertility treatments.

“I had a constituent who contacted me with infertility issues and she expressed concerns about the cost of infertility treatment and the fact that her insurance wasn’t covering those treatments for her,” Rep. Daniel Elliott (R-Danville) said. “She was concerned she may not be able to have a child because her biological clock was running down. That was one of the reasons I actually looked into the issue.”

Elliott said a minority of states — around 17 to 20 — already require health insurance companies to cover some infertility treatments.

“I wouldn’t say it’s common, but there are states that require coverage — especially for some of the less costly treatments,” he said.

Elliott’s proposed legislation, House Bill 87, would put in place requirements similar to what New York has in its state law, he said.

The bill would require all health plans to “provide coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of infertility.” It specifically includes “diagnostic tests and procedures” and “prescription drugs approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for use in the diagnosis and treatment of infertility.”

The bill limits required coverage to women from 21 to 44 years old and says treatments “may be subject to copayments, coinsurance and deductibles as may be deemed appropriate.” It also states the required coverage would not include in vitro fertilization or several other more involved, more expensive procedures, including “the reversal of elective sterilizations” and “experimental” procedures.

Elliott said he filed similar legislation last year as well.

“I would say that it probably has a decent chance of being heard in committee for sure, but I would say that there are many folks in my party who do not support mandates on health insurance, so that’s what this is and probably you’ll have those who are opposed,” he said. “… This obviously, probably, isn’t a top-tier priority of the house or senate leadership this term. But I’m trying to expose what I perceive as a weakness in state law as it presently stands.”

Pay for school board members

Elliott is also sponsoring House Bill 95, which would double the per-meeting pay for elected members of school boards from $75 to $150, and double the annual maximum that a school board member can be paid from $3,000 to $6,000.

Elliott said he was contacted by a “local school board member who expressed concern” about the current rate of pay. He then talked to general counsel for the Kentucky School Boards Association to find out it had been at least a decade since the current amounts were set.

That means inflation has reduced the value of the payments, which could make it hard for some people — especially younger people or people with children — to be able to afford serving.

“For some of them, it may actually be costing them to serve, and I definitely don’t want to preclude younger people from being able to run and serve on a school board,” he said.

Elliott said he may soon pass primary sponsorship of House Bill 95 to Rep. Ed Massey (R-Hebron) because Massey was previously a long-serving school board member in his community, so he understands the situation school board members are in.

Elliott said he has “hope” that the bill could pass into law this session, but “it would probably have to become one of KSBA’s priorities for that to happen.”

“I think that most people wouldn’t expect our school board members to serve for free or at their own expense,” he said.

SO YOU KNOW

Watch future issues of The Advocate-Messenger for an article about legislation that would repeal the sales tax expansion put in place last year for non-profits and charitable organizations. Rep. Daniel Elliott is sponsoring legislation that would repeal sales taxes for humane societies and animal shelters.