Gay couple files complaint against New York City over denying IVF coverage
The city’s policy makes accommodations for lesbian couples to receive infertility treatments, but not for gay men, the couple’s filing stated.
A gay couple filed a class-action charge of discrimination against New York City on Tuesday alleging that the city’s insurance policy is discriminatory because it does not cover in vitro fertilization, or IVF, for gay male couples.
The couple planned to pursue a two-part process to have children: First, they would pursue IVF, a process where an egg is combined with sperm in a lab. Then they planned to work with an agency to hire a surrogate who would carry the baby to term.
But those plans were interrupted in 2017, after Briskin took a job as an assistant district attorney at the New York County District Attorney’s Office in Manhattan, and the couple said they learned that the city’s insurance policy doesn’t provide IVF benefits for gay men.
The couple said without insurance coverage, IVF would cost them $70,000 to $100,000, which would make it unaffordable. They already plan to pay for surrogacy out of pocket, which, with egg donation, can cost an additional $165,000, according to documents filed with the EEOC charge.
By not providing coverage for gay men, “the City’s policy breathes life into the outdated stereotype that gay men are not fit to be parents,” the charge stated. The charge also argued that the city’s policy violates federal, state and city laws against discrimination.
I’m a dad and I love being a dad, so I completely understand the desire other men have to be fathers. I’m not attacking that.
The vast majority of parents, heterosexual people conceiving in the natural way, will never need this coverage.
Some percentage of heterosexual couples will need some assistance conceiving, and the insurance coverage starts low, with other less costly and lest risky forms of assistance, then works there way up.
Under the city’s policy, an individual has to be diagnosed with infertility to be eligible for coverage of IVF or other assisted reproductive technologies. The policy — like most insurance policies nationwide — defines infertility as “the inability to conceive after 12 months of unprotected intercourse” or after 12 cycles of intrauterine insemination, or IUI, over 12 months.
That makes sense.
Insurance is a risk pool, to be profitable you have to assume the risk is low, most couples don’t need fertility treatments.
Them you gradually increase coverage, drugs, then IUI, then finally if that doesn’t work, IVF as the most expensive and invasive treatment is the last option.
Very few heterosexual couples need that.
There is no amount of fertility drugs or IUI that will help a gay couple conceive.
In the process that this couple is using, getting an anonymous egg, IVF, hiring a surrogate to carry the baby, that is the maximum cost and maximum difficulty way of having a baby.
It also reminds me of the quote by Nikola Tesla, “you may live to see man-made horrors beyond your comprehension.”
So the risk pool effectively becomes a 100% guarantee that gay couples who want children are going to need the maximum coverage of the policy. There are no lower cost, less risky, “try this and see if it works before we try IVF” options.
And that is right now. In researching this story I’ve already seen gay rights groups say that surrogacy should be covered too because only rich people can afford that. Watch that become the next stage of this case. So a gay couple that wants kids will cost $250,000 per child to the insurance provider.
I find that to be ridiculous.
There is a difference between a heterosexual couple with a medical problem that is having difficulty conceiving a child in the natural way and a gay couple that wants a bespoke child in a Frankensteinien four-way (sperm donor, egg donor, surrogate, IVF technician).
If a gay couple wants IVF, here is my stipulation: find a surrogate, pop a Viagra, put some gay porn on the TV, and man up and try to conceive the natural way for a year, if that doesn’t work then you get IVF, no different than straight couples.
That’s equality, not a guaranteed designer baby through science.