A proposed bill in the California state legislature aims to require insurance companies to cover the costs of surrogacy for same-sex couples who desire to start a family. The legislation, known as SB 729, would make it mandatory for health insurers in the state to provide coverage for fertility treatments, which are currently either optional or only available through specific company benefits programs. Additionally, the bill suggests revising the definition of infertility and removing the exclusion of in vitro fertilization from insurance coverage.
Authored by State Sen. Caroline Menjivar (D-Burbank), the bill proposes broadening the definition of “infertility” to include the inability of an individual or couple to conceive without medical intervention. It further emphasizes that coverage for infertility and fertility services should be offered without discrimination based on various factors such as age, gender, gender identity, marital status, and sexual orientation. The proposed law would also prohibit insurance policies from excluding the costs of a surrogate for intended parents.
If enacted, the bill would require health insurance policies to cover the expenses related to in vitro fertilization and surrogacy for both heterosexual and same-sex couples. This change would provide equal access to assisted reproductive technologies for individuals regardless of their sexual orientation.
Opposition to the bill has been expressed by insurance companies due to the potential increase in costs they would incur. Some conservative groups are also against the legislation. However, proponents argue that encouraging couples, including same-sex couples, to have children could help counter the declining birth rates in the United States and foster a culture of child-rearing.
Overall, the proposed California bill seeks to expand insurance coverage for surrogacy expenses for same-sex couples, promoting inclusivity and equal access to family-building options.