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Lesbians Sue Over Insurance Discrimination In Infertility Treatment

State rules require women to demonstrate infertility by having unprotected sex with a man for at least two years without becoming pregnant

A lawsuit against New Jersey’s Department of Banking and Insurance says the state discriminates against lesbians because they are required to prove infertility by having unprotected sex with a man for at least two years if they want insurance to pay for treatment.

Sarah Mills said she has ovarian cysts that mean she is unable to get pregnant from artificial insemination without expensive fertility treatments. But her insurer, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield, says she does not qualify under the state regulations. She and her wife, Gloria Torres, want only to get started on a family, Mills told NJTV.

The couple plan to pay for the treatment themselves. But they have joined three other women as plaintiffs in the lawsuit. Grace Crutcher, their lawyer, said New Jersey, one of 15 states that mandates insurance coverage for infertility treatments, has made it impossible for women in same-sex relationships to prove they are infertile.

A bill that would update the 2001 law mandating fertility coverage has failed to move out of the Legislature.

Read the full story on NJTV News Online, a content partner of NJ Spotlight.

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