New Jersey health insurance law expands fertility coverage for LGBTQ+ couples

The new law ensures that single people and couples in the LGBTQ+ community can become parents. ( iStock / Getty Images Plus)

A new law in New Jersey will expand health insurance coverage for fertility treatment to include LGBTQ+ people.

Fertility treatment, including in vitro fertilisation (IVF) or sperm insemination, can be an expensive process in the US, and eligibility to be covered by insurance for such treatments previously didn’t always include single parents or queer couples. 

However, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation on 12 January expanding health insurance coverage requirements for fertility services to make them more inclusive. 

The new law requires private health insurers covering over 50 people to provide infertility services “in accordance with American Society for Reproductive Medicine guidelines and as determined by a physician”. 

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) previously updated its guidelines last October to be more inclusive of LGBTQ+ people and single parents. 

The changes now prevent health insurance companies from “denying patients coverage for the medical care they need to have children.”

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Previously, the definition of “infertility” in the guidelines had been limited to failing to get pregnant after a year of having unprotected sex or undergoing therapeutic donor insemination in women younger than 35 or within six months for women over 35. 

Services under the new law which will be covered include IVF, intrauterine insemination, intracytoplasmic sperm injection, medications, surgery, diagnostic and genetic testing, and embryo transfers, among other treatments. 

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Additionally, the new law prohibits health insurance providers from restricting such services based on age. 

The new law will apply to plans issued or renewed on or after 1 August 2024.

Governor Murphy said in a press release after signing the bill into law: “For those who struggle with infertility and for same-sex couples, the possibility of starting a family is deeply impacted by the availability and accessibility of infertility care and other medical services that, without coverage, can be extremely costly. 

“Today’s bill will create new opportunities for families across New Jersey to take on one of the hardest and most rewarding jobs there is — parenthood.”

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