Maryland State Delegate Terri Hill, a Democrat, has introduced a bill that is working its way through the General Assembly that would require state-regulated health insurance plans that cover pregnancy-related benefits to include benefits for in vitro fertilization for lesbians.
Delegate Terri Hill, the bill’s chief sponsor, said the bill is necessary to make Maryland law consistent after the passage of The Civil Marriage Protection Act in 2012 that legalized same-sex marriage in the state.
“We’re concerned that we correct the law to reflect Maryland’s state on marriage equality,” Hill told The Sun. “It was about making sure all Marylanders are treated in an equitable fashion.”
State-regulated health insurance plans that offer pregnancy-related benefits have been required to cover the costs of in vitro fertilization for traditional couples since 2000.
In an analysis of the bill, it states that the legislation “modifies conditions on coverage that require certain infertility by requiring coverage if the patient and patient’s spouse are of the same sex.”
The Sun article featured a lesbian couple, Fiona Jardine, 29, and Jo Arnone, 57, who are using the procedure but are paying the cost because their insurance plans do not cover it. The article does not say which woman will be impregnated.
The Sun also reported that Dr. Michael J. Levy, founder of Shady Grove Fertility Center, testified at a Senate hearing that about 5 percent of the 10,000 patients served by his large regional chain are lesbians.