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CT lawmakers consider bill requiring insurance companies to expand IVF coverage

Lawmakers listen as Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont delivers his State of the State address.
Molly Ingram
Lawmakers listen as Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont delivers his State of the State address.

Connecticut lawmakers are considering a bill that would require state health insurance plans to cover in vitro fertilization (IVF) for single people and same-sex couples.

The bill is in response to the Alabama Supreme Court’s recent decision that frozen embryos are “extrauterine children.”

For most state insurance policies, a person must be deemed “infertile” to qualify for coverage for IVF treatment. However, single people and same-sex couples looking to have a child can not be deemed infertile because they do not have the organs required to make a baby.

State Comptroller Sean Scanlon said it's time the legislature changed that.

"I'm somebody who believes fundamentally that everybody in this state who wants to have a child should be able to do so, regardless of who they love and want to have that child with," Scanlon said.

During his testimony, Scanlon said the issue was brought to his attention by a state employee who could not access insurance coverage for IVF care. Scanlon said he was able to change the policy for state employees and wants the same to be done for all Connecticut residents.

Reproductive Equity Now President Liz Gustafson supports the bill.

“Current Connecticut law only requires private insurance providers to cover fertility treatment for people who meet a limited definition of infertility that is defined in reference to heterosexual intercourse,” Gustafson said. “Because of this narrow definition, single individuals and LGBTQ+ families have been excluded from this coverage requirement.”

The proposed legislation faces a vote in the Insurance and Real Estate Committee. If it makes it out of committee, it would have to pass both chambers of the legislature and be signed by the governor to become law.

Opponents of the bill say they’re concerned it’s unfair to heterosexual couples, who have to prove their infertility.

Molly is a reporter covering Connecticut. She also produces Long Story Short, a podcast exploring public policy issues across Connecticut.