New Law Expands Access To Infertility Insurance Coverage in New Jersey

New law expands infertility insurance coverage in New JerseyAnyone who has experienced infertility knows the anguish it can bring. Treatments are expensive, and health insurance does not cover everything. This is especially true for single people and LGBTQIA+ couples eager to start their families. A new law, signed by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy on January 12, 2024, provides some relief by expanding insurance coverage for infertility services and embracing broader access to services.

Under the new legislation, certain private sector health insurers, the State Health Benefits Program, and the School Employees’ Health Benefits Program, must now provide coverage in accordance with the definition of “infertility” adopted by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM). This new definition broadens the categories of people entitled to relief to include anyone who needs medical intervention, such as donor eggs or sperm, to have a child. Previously, the definition of infertility was restricted to male and female couples who were unable to become pregnant after a year (or six months for women over 35) of unprotected intercourse or intrauterine insemination. 

New Jersey’s new law clarifies that definitions of infertility cannot be used to deny or delay treatment to any individual, regardless of relationship status or sexual orientation. It also prohibits infertility coverage restrictions based on age. Covered services include various types of in vitro fertilization, intrauterine insemination, genetic testing, and embryo transfers.

Significance for Prospective LGBTQIA+ Parents

Ralph and Michael Maguire-Losanno of Morris Plains worked to support the new law as advocates for families who will benefit from it. The process of having their first child, created with Ralph’s sperm, a donated egg and a carrier, cost approximately $160,000. They did not qualify for insurance coverage in New Jersey because under the definitions in effect at that time, neither of them was considered medically infertile. As they begin to plan for a second child, they hope that this time some of the enormous expense can be defrayed. While the cost of a surrogate or gestational carrier is still not covered, many other aspects of the process are.

At the bill’s signing, Michael and Ralph thanked everyone who supported it, stating that “This new legislation isn’t solely about mitigating financial constraints; it acknowledges an undeniable truth that every individual, irrespective of circumstances, should be able to embrace their dream of parenthood.” 

Broad Support for the New Law

Sponsors of the legislation included Senators Brian Stack and Joe Vitale, Chair of the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee, as well as Assemblymembers Pamela Lampitt, Sterley Stanley, and Shavonda Sumter. Pointing out that as many as one in six people of childbearing age suffer from fertility challenges, Senator Vitale said that the new law “will help ensure all people with dreams of starting a family can access the support they need and require health insurance to help cover the cost.”

Representatives of various organizations also expressed strong support for the new law, including ASRM President Dr. Paula Amato, Garden State Equality Action Fund Board Member Bill Singer, Esq., Planned Parenthood Action Fund of New Jersey Executive Director Jackie Cornell, and NJ State Bar Association President Timothy F. McGoughran. Amelia and Rachel Fairley, of Bridgewater joined Ralph and Michael as family advocates.

In signing the legislation, Governor Murphy expressed his support for all families across New Jersey who wished to take on the difficult and rewarding job of parenthood. “Making fertility services more accessible and affordable is another step in New Jersey’s comprehensive approach to strengthening reproductive health care and reproductive freedom,” he said. “There are many different paths toward starting a family, each defined by their own unique challenges and joys.”

In addition to medical steps in starting a family via assisted reproductive technology, there may be legal issues to address, such as a surrogacy contract or the need for adoption. If you are starting or expanding your family, congratulations! Our attorneys are here to assist you with the help and guidance you need to make this a seamless transition. To understand your rights and options, please call us today to schedule a family law consultation. For more information, call us at 888-888-0919, or please click the green button below.

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