Unmarried and gay couples will be ensured the same access to insurance coverage for fertility treatments as heterosexual couples under a bill California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law Tuesday.
Authored by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco), AB 460, clarifies the non-discrimination provision of an existing California law that requires health plans to cover fertility treatments, excluding in vitro fertilization.
“Reproductive medicine is for everybody’s benefit,” Ammiano said in a statement. “To restrict fertility coverage solely to heterosexual married couples violates California’s non-discrimination laws. I wrote this bill to correct that.”
One complication for gay couples has been that insurance coverage of fertility treatments typically does not kick in until couples have tried to conceive naturally for 12 months, the Associated Press reports. This has left some gay couples facing fertility treatments costing up to tens of thousands of dollars.
The California Association of Health Plans, which represents insurers, said its initial concerns with the bill were addressed and it took no position on the final version, CBS reports.
Judy Appel, executive director of Our Family Coalition, a San Francisco-based group that advocates for same-sex couples, said to the AP that the new law lifts a huge emotional and financial burden for gay couples.
"We have the right to marry now and this is further support for us to be able to create families," she said.