A bill signed into law by California governor Jerry Brown on Tuesday ensures that insurance coverage for fertility treatments granted to heterosexual couples will now be extended to unmarried and homosexual couples.
The law was authored by Tom Ammiano (D., San Francisco) who thinks that denying fertility coverage to unmarried and gay couples violates California’s non-discrimination laws. “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.” Insurance coverage for fertility treatment usually kicked in only after couples attempted natural conception for a year.
The law dictates that insurance plans that offer coverage for fertility treatments cannot discriminate on any basis, including “domestic partner status, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, marital status . . . sex or sexual orientation.” Therefore, any homosexual couple seeking to produce children using fertility treatments need only sign up for insurance that covers the treatment in order to have the procedures paid for.
Judy Appel, the executive director of Our Family Coalition, a same-sex advocacy group based in San Francisco praised the law for ending a huge financial burden on homosexual couples. “We have the right to marry now and this is further support for us to be able to create families,” she said.
The new law takes effect in January.