State legislators in New Jersey want to propose a bill that would expand the infertility coverage to lesbian and not only heterosexual women. This bill was inspired by the federal lawsuit brought by a lesbian couple who wanted to become parents but were denied insurance because the state’s definition of infertility.
Erin and Marianne Krupa applied for infertility insurance after they decided to become parents but needed some financial help for the required treatments of infertility. The application was denied by their insurer because Erin failed to show she couldn’t get pregnant through sexual intercourse with a man.
The current law that regulates this type of insurance defines infertility as the inability to conceive after a certain period of unprotected sex. Two years for women younger than 35 or after one year for those older than 35.
Although the insurer eventually agreed to the coverage because of a doctor’s diagnosis, Erin Krupa had already incurred almost $25, 000 expenses for infertility treatments while the federal suit was being processed. The couple have stated they are pursuing the case as a civil rights issue.
“The right of all New Jersey women who dream of becoming mothers to access the reproductive health care they need to realize that dream on an equal basis.”
After the case was filed on August 1 against state Banking and Insurance Commissioner Richard Badolato, two more women have joined their lawsuit. It states that Erin Krupa was denied coverage for infertility simply because it didn’t meet the state’s definition although she was diagnosed with non-cancerous endometriosis, a condition that causes a certain grade of infertility.
This lawsuit has determined some state lawmakers to propose new legislation what would change the current definition of infertility to include lesbians and women without partners. The bill is being sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, according to which:
“The law needs to be changed. It’s just time to push this to the forefront.”
In the United States, there are fifteen states with laws requiring insurers to offer coverage for infertility treatments. Among those, only Maryland and California have changed their laws to include same-sex couples.
What do you think about this case? Should there be a federal law regarding infertility coverage for same-sex couples?
Image source: Flickr