LGBTQ FAMILIES

By Bob Katzen

This bill (SD 2478) requires health insurers in Massachusetts to provide coverage for medically necessary expenses of diagnosis of infertility and fertility treatment and prohibits the establishment of any conditions to receiving these benefits based on required waiting periods, number of attempts, prior treatment, age, sexual orientation or familial status.

The bill also directs the Office of Health Equity to conduct a study to assess the affordability and accessibility of resources and services available to LGBTQ individuals and couples seeking to expand their families and make recommendations to improve access to benefits and services.

Another provision would require the Board of Registration in Medicine to develop a professional development training module for physicians regarding resources and services available to LGBTQ couples seeking to expand their families. The training module would include information on the prevention and elimination of discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression in medical settings, improving access to services for LGBTQ individuals and options for LGBTQ individuals seeking to start or grow their family.

“When my sister and sister-in-law wanted to begin a family, finding culturally competent care and securing insurance coverage was a challenge that a heterosexual couple wouldn’t have to face,” said the measure’s sponsor Sen. Julian Cyr (D-Truro). “Fertility treatment is widely geared to conception for heterosexual couples and doesn’t envision the needs of LGBTQ people. The coverage and care is inadvertently homophobic and transphobic. This bill extends LGBTQ families the right to coverage for those services and ensures culturally competent care for anyone wanting to build a family.”

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