Health Insurance Claim Articles
Are Stem Cell Treatments Covered In My Health Insurance?

By Jeffrey L. Greyber, Esq.

This article (which is precautionary in nature) hits close to home, as I have a friend who is undergoing stem cell transplants for the treatment of scleroderma and is doing so “out-of-pocket.” The “out-of-pocket” aspect of that is a travesty, in my opinion – the current lay of the medical land (stem cell treatments gaining traction throughout the worldwide medical community and meeting with significant success) simply does not square with the current lay of the insurance land (most insurance companies still considering such treatments “experimental”). 1

What does “experimental” mean under most health insurance policies? It means that you are highly unlikely to find coverage. And this means that, at least for the time-being, the cost of saving a life by way of stem cell treatment is going to have to come out-of-pocket. The footnoted article suggests that some insurance products specifically designed to cover stem cell treatments exist. As far as I can tell, however, such products are largely (if not entirely) offered by foreign carriers. And, in my experience, rare insurance products (whether offered by foreign or domestic carriers) are going to have a heavy premium attached.

Although insurance products designed to cover stem cell treatments are sparse at present, I am optimistic that will change over time. So, in the meantime, I suggest you still strongly consider preserving your newborn’s cord blood (and possibly even cord tissue). It is not too terribly expensive to do so – in conjunction with the birth of my beautiful daughter a month ago, I learned that cord blood can be preserved for an upfront payment of approximately $2,000.00 and subsequent annual payments of approximately $130.00. A small price to pay, in my opinion, to give your newborn a stem cell treatment safety net, especially considering it should (Wake up insurance companies and politicians!) only be a matter of time until the stem cell treatment aspect of the preserved cord blood will find coverage under run-of-the-mill health insurance policies.

By the way, if you would like to help my aforementioned friend by way of donation, please send me an email or give me a call.

1 If you want to learn a bit more about stem cell treatments and associated insurance considerations, read the following:

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