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Cuomo: New actions to expand access to fertility coverage for same-sex couples part of 2021 Women's Agenda

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Thu, Feb 11th 2021 09:25 pm

Insurers will be immediately required to cover fertility services for same-sex couples

Proposal builds on actions to protect rights of women & LGBTQ New Yorkers

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday directed the Department of Financial Services to ensure insurers begin covering fertility services immediately for same-sex couples who wish to start a family. While current insurance law requires insurers to cover infertility services, same-sex couples must sometimes pay 6 or 12 months of out-of-pocket expenses for fertility treatments such as testing and therapeutic donor insemination procedures before qualifying for coverage.

The Department of Financial Services, under Cuomo's direction, will direct insurers to provide immediate coverage for fertility services for same-sex couples to eliminate lag times and added expenses. The proposal was introduced in the governor's 2021 State of the State as a key component of the Women's Agenda and builds on a number of actions to protect the rights of both women and LGBTQ New Yorkers, including the required coverage of in-vitro fertilization services by Insurance plans providing large group coverage, the enactment of Marriage Equality Act, GENDA, legalizing gestational surrogacy, banning conversion therapy and the gay and trans panic defense and most recently, repealing the “Walking While Trans” ban.

"For too long, same-sex couples have been denied coverage for immediate infertility benefits, forcing them to pay high – often prohibitive – out-of-pocket costs to start a family," Cuomo said. "No New Yorker should be denied the opportunity to become a parent, nor the joys of raising a child, because of their sexual orientation, 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."

Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa, chair of the Council on Women and Girls, said, "New York is leading the nation in protecting the rights of all New Yorkers and making it easier to start a family by expanding 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. 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."

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