(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt to increase fertility coverage for New Jersey families was advanced by the Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee on Thursday.
Under current law, hospital, medical and health service corporations, commercial group insurers and health maintenance organizations are required, in certain circumstances, to provide coverage under group policies for medically necessary expenses incurred in the diagnosis and treatment of infertility.
The current statutory definition of infertility requires a woman under the age of 35 to have unprotected intercourse for at least two years without being able to conceive, a woman over the age of 35 to have unprotected intercourse for one year without being able to conceive, or a partner to have been deemed medically sterile or unable carry a pregnancy to live birth. Women who do not meet the current definition for infertility are denied coverage for these benefits.
Lampitt states in her legislation that due to the current definition of infertility certain women such as same sex partners are not qualified to receive coverage for these benefits.
“No one should be denied coverage for health services due to their sexual orientation,” said Lampitt (D-Camden, Burlington). “New Jersey has always been on the front lines of the fight for equality, but outdated regulation like this continues to hold us back.”
The bill (A-1447) expands the availability of insurance coverage for infertility-related health benefits to certain women that are currently denied coverage for those benefits under certain health insurance plans. The bill would redefine “infertility” as (1) the disease or condition that results in the abnormal function of the reproductive system such that a person is not able to impregnate another person or conceive; or (2) a determination of infertility by a physician licensed to practice medicine and surgery in this state.
“The outdated definition for infertility forces women to pay for fertility treatments out of pocket, making a difficult time in their lives even harder,” Lampitt continued. “By expanding insurance coverage for infertility treatments, we are helping to improve treatment options for all women in New Jersey.”
The bill now goes to the Assembly Speaker for further consideration.