Way to take a stand, Andrew Cuomo! The New York Governor just made it illegal for health insurers to discriminate against same-sex and single parents from getting coverage for infertility treatments.
New York is currently only one of 15 states that even require insurers to cover infertility treatments, but up until now, that excluded same-sex couples and single parents. See, to qualify for infertility coverage, the wannabe parents must meet a bunch of guidelines, one of which included that you had been trying to conceive through regular intercourse for at least the last 12 months. But this deliberately excludes people for whom “regular intercourse” is not an option, i.e. gay couples and single women who’d like to get pregnant.
To rectify this, Cuomo sent a letter to all of the insurers in the state stating that it will now be illegal to discriminate against anyone from getting infertility treatment.
Governor Cuomo’s chief counsel, Alphonso David responded to the letter by saying,
“This is in direct response to a problem that we know exists.”
He added that the Cuomo’s letter “takes away any ambiguity, it takes away any excuse. Just like we have a definition of marriage that can’t by its language discriminate against people based on who they are, you can’t have a definition of infertility that by its language discriminates against people based on who they are or whether or not they’re in a relationship.”
This letter is part of Cuomo’s initiate called “New York’s Promise to Women: Ever Upward.” The three main goals of the initiate are to provide access to contraceptives, coverage for contraceptives, and coverage for abortion services.
In January this year, Cuomo signed new policies that will mandate insurers cover the first three months of contraception, followed by a year’s worth supply. The policy was a direct counter-action to any attempts by the Trump administration to strip away our reproductive rights. These safeguards are proving more than necessary as Trump recently gave states permission to decide whether or not they will give funds to Planned Parenthood.
New York isn’t the only state protecting women’s rights. Just this week, Nevada proposed a bill that would enable people to get a year’s worth of contraceptives at a time, rather than just three months at a time. This would give easier access to birth control for many women who live in rural or poor areas.
Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, and Tiger Beat. Her favorite Housewife is Bethenny Frankel (by far!), but when she’s not watching RHONY, you can probably find her hanging with her kitty Tom or tweeting at Sen. Chuck Schumer.