The insurance company Aetna has been sued, over their alleged discrimination of LGBTQ employees. In the lawsuit, it’s stated that the company requires that same-sex couples pay for all of their fertility treatments out of their own pocket, before they can be eligible for insurance coverage. The cost of fertility treatments is often very high, but it’s also frequently covered by insurance plans. For same-sex couples, though, this hasn’t been the case with Aetna.
People who are transgender, bisexual, lesbian, queer, or gay are being denied coverage, and required to pay for their own treatments, while couples who aren’t same-sex are covered for fertility treatments. Plaintiff Emma Goidel stated that she, together with her spouse, had to pay out $45,000 for their fertility treatments due to Aetna’s policy, and then they were covered for health insurance.
Goidel has Aetna coverage through her spouse, and that coverage includes IVF and IUI treatments. However, heterosexual couples only have to indicate that they’ve tried to conceive for 12 months without success, and they can be covered for fertility treatment options. The LGBTQ couples who have Aetna, however, must pay for either six or 12 months of treatment first, depending on their age. After they’ve done that, Aetna will then pick up the costs for additional treatments.
Together with her spouse, Goidel made the decision to choose IUI instead of IVF, even though IUI didn’t have as strong of a success rate. That decision was made based on cost, due to the lack of insurance coverage and the unaffordability of multiple rounds of IVF. The costs that Goidel and people like her incur due to the policies of Aetna are believed to be in violation of the Affordable Care Act, and whether Aetna is violating the law will now be for the courts to decide.
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