New York fast-tracks fertility coverage for same-sex couples

An embryologist uses a microscope to view an embryo. (AP File Photo)

A new state directive in New York will ensure that same-sex couples can get health insurance coverage for fertility services without first needing to pay out of pocket for months of fertility treatments.

Current insurance law in the state already requires insurers to cover infertility services. But Gov. Andrew Cuomo directed the state Department of Financial Services to require insurers to begin covering fertility services immediately without couples having to cover six to 12 months of out-of-pocket expenses for fertility treatments including testing and donor insemination. 

Some same-sex couples had filed complaints to the state that they were facing such barriers, unlike heterosexual couples.

"No New Yorker should be denied the opportunity to become a parent, nor the joys of raising a child, because of their sexual orientation," Cuomo said in a statement, "and this change reflects what we as New Yorkers know to be true: that love is what makes a family, that inclusivity is our strength and that the law should work for all New Yorkers."

Cuomo said the Department of Financial Services will direct insurers to provide immediate coverage for fertility services for same-sex couples. 

Melissa DeRosa, the governor's top aide, said the directive will expand "access to safe and affordable fertility treatments."

"Family planning is a profoundly personal and emotional journey and it should not be made harder by bureaucracy," DeRosa, the chair of the state's Council on Women and Girls, said in a statement. "These new actions mark a major win for women and the LGBTQ community, and we will continue breaking down barriers to family planning until every New Yorker has access to the protections and services they need to start a family of their own."

With The Associated Press

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