Fertility Patients Say NJ Insurance Law Discriminates Against Lesbian Couples

Image courtesy of Marie

New Jersey is one of 15 states that requires health insurance plans to cover fertility treatment. However, the regulations say that a female patient is considered medically “infertile” only after one or two years of unprotected sexual intercourse, depending on her age. Otherwise, insurance won’t cover it. Same-sex couples say that this requirement is discriminatory, and two couples are suing their state’s commissioner of Banking and Insurance over the definition.

Fertility is complex, and sometimes health problems or anatomical quirks mean that a woman who is otherwise healthy needs specialized care to get and stay pregnant. However, the four women who are plaintiffs in this lawsuit say that the definition discriminates against their sexual orientation, and forces them to pay out of pocket for services that would be covered for heterosexual couples.

“These women are already going through what can be a difficult experience, and they have the added stress of affording it financially and the added insult of being treated like a second-class citizen,” one of their lawyers explained to the New York Times.

There are bills before the legislature in New Jersey that would change the requirement for treatment to simply having a doctor declare a patient to be infertile, but they’re still in committee and not likely to become law anytime soon.

Lesbian Couples Sue Over New Jersey Rules for Fertility Treatment [New York Times]
Krupa v. Badolato [DocumentCloud]

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