Governor Strengthens Montana Law For Cancer Survivors
Joining cancer survivors, advocates and health care providers, Gov. Greg Gianforte has ceremonially signed a new law that requires insurance providers cover fertility preservation treatments for cancer survivors.
Katie Beall, a cancer survivor, spearheaded the reform that led to the introduction of Senate Bill 516 in March.
“When Montanans are diagnosed with cancer, the last thing they should have to worry about is whether they’ll be able to have a family one day,” Gianforte said. “Thanks to Katie Beall and countless advocates, medical professionals, and survivors, Montana is now the 16th state to secure insurance coverage of fertility preservation treatments for cancer survivors.”
The governor ceremonially signed the bill at the Cancer Support Community (CSC) Montana, alongside cancer survivors, their friends and family, advocates, and staff.
Celebrating the new reform, CEO of CSC Montana Becky Franks said, “The signing of the fertility preservation bill provides access to the opportunity to have a family for young cancer survivors. This legislation reduces the trauma of a cancer diagnosis and provides hope for the future.”
Also providing remarks at the event was Katelyn Armstrong, a Bozeman Health cancer social worker.
“I have seen and sat with many young survivors as they grappled with fighting for their life and holding hope for their future. That future now looks a little different, a bit brighter,” Armstrong said. “A hope for an opportunity for a family, beyond cancer, is now a part of your care.”
The sponsor of Senate Bill 516, Sen. Jen Gross, D-Billings, added, “Having cancer isn’t a choice, and now the hope of having a family after cancer doesn’t have to be. It was an honor to work alongside survivors to pass the Preserving Fertility Act, and I am grateful to Governor Gianforte for his support of the new law.”
Finally, the group heard from Katie Beall, a cancer survivor whose own experience inspired her to bring the idea for this bill forward.
“Hope is vital to survival, and with Senate Bill 516, cancer survivors, oncology providers, families, advocates, and legislators came together to protect and support future young Montana cancer patients. Now, every young Montanan who must face cancer can access the medical care they need to protect their hope to become parents and have families after cancer,” Beall said. “I am so proud and grateful for the lives this law will forever protect and support.”
“Katie, you are an inspiration to all of us,” the governor concluded.