New Jersey may be expanding infertility coverage to lesbians following a federal lawsuit brought by a same-sex couple.
Though New Jersey law requires insurance companies cover expenses considered medically necessary as part of infertility treatment, it defines infertility in a way that excludes lesbian couples. Under state law, infertility is defined as the result of failure to conceive after a certain period of unprotected sex for women younger than 35 or after one year for women older than 35.
However, Erin Krupa was denied insurance coverage for infertility treatments when trying to have a baby because she was unable to show that she couldn't get pregnant by having sex with a man.
Krupa then incurred $25,000 in out-of-pocket medical expenses for infertility treatments, leading her and her wife Marianne Krupa to file a federal lawsuit.
The two say they are pursuing the case as a civil rights issue — "the right of all New Jersey women who dream of becoming mothers to access the reproductive healthcare they need to realize that dream on an equal basis."
Meanwhile, some New Jersey state lawmakers plan to push legislation to change the law to expand coverage to same-sex couples when legislators return from break in September.
Fifteen states have laws requiring insurers to offer coverage for infertility treatment and diagnosis, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. However, Maryland and California are the only two states that have changed their laws to require insurance coverage for same-sex couples.