Governor Andrew Cuomo’s 2021 Women’s Agenda has already introduced a host of protections for women and LGBTQ+ New Yorkers such as mandating insurance coverage of in-vitro fertilization services, banning conversion therapy, and stronger protections for marriage quality. Most recently, Cuomo announced that insurers in the state will now be required to cover fertility services for same-sex couples.
While current laws already require insurers to cover fertility services, many LGBTQ+ couples have to pay six to 12 months of out-of-pocket expenses for testing to qualify for this coverage. Under the new law, insurers are required to cover these services immediately. This will help reduce treatment time and expense for same-sex couples seeking fertility treatment.
Although health protections for LGBTQ+ individuals have come a long way in the past couple of decades, these individuals still face higher barriers to access to medical care and higher rates of discrimination within the medical community. This new policy ensures that health care coverage is extended in the same capacity to all parents, regardless of sexual or gender identity, and provides a template for other states seeking to pursue the same protections.
When announcing the policy last week, Cuomo stated, “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.”