NJ law expands health insurance coverage for LGBTQIA+ individuals for infertility treatments

LIVINGSTON, N.J. (CBS) — A new law in New Jersey will expand health insurance coverage for infertility services to now include LGBTQ+ individuals.

Infertility treatments are very expensive and insurance coverage is spotty and eligibility can be tricky, for example, if you’re a single parent or a gay couple. However, that’s not the case anymore in New Jersey.

“Every day is a new adventure with him and it’s amazing to see how quickly he’s developing,” Ralph Maguire-Losanno said.

Fourteen-month-old Luca is the child Ralph and Michael Maguire-Losanno dreamed of having since they were married.

“Family is so important to us,” Ralph said.

Luca was created with Ralph’s sperm, a donated egg and a carrier. They estimate the cost to be around $160,000.

“It was literally every dollar we had saved,” Michael said.

The couple didn’t qualify for insurance coverage in New Jersey because neither is considered medically infertile.

“I felt discriminated against in some ways, it was frustrating,” Michael said.

“It seemed really wrong to me,” Dr. Serena Chen said.

Dr. Chen, a reproductive specialist of CCRM Fertility, helped to get a new law passed in New Jersey that expands insurance coverage for infertility treatments.

“The law allows everyone to access treatments that are appropriate and cost-effective for them without regard to their sexual orientation,” Chen said.

Ralph and Michael also worked to get the new mandate passed.

“It is a significant increase in what is covered and now it’s going to be applied across the board whether you are a single person, a lesbian couple, a heterosexual couple or a gay couple. Will not matter, you need the service it will be covered,” Ralph said.

They’ve already started the process for a second baby and are hoping some of the costs might be covered by the new law. Paying for a surrogate or carrier was never covered and still isn’t, but a lot of other expensive services are.

“So many people in the state of New Jersey are going to benefit from this coverage,” Michael said. “Anyone who wants a child this badly deserves a family.”

Signing the bill in January, Governor Phil Murphy said it will create new opportunities for New Jersey families to take on one of the hardest and most rewarding jobs there is — parenthood.