Managed healthcare company Aetna Inc has been sued for allegedly discriminating against beneficiaries within the LGBTQ+ community by requiring them to pay more out of pocket for fertility treatments.
In a proposed class action, plaintiff Emma Goidel claimed she and her spouse were forced to pay out nearly $45,000 for fertility treatments due to Aetna’s policy which required same-sex couples to pay for fertility treatments out of pocket before becoming eligible for coverage.
According to the plaintiff’s complaint, Goidel is covered through her spouse by Aetna’s health insurance plan for Columbia University students. The plan provides broad coverage for vitro fertilisation (IVF) and intrauterine insemination (IUI) treatments.
Under the plan, couples that can try to conceive through heterosexual intercourse can receive coverage simply by demonstrating that they have tried for 6 or 12 months. However, according to the complaint, couples that cannot conceive through intercourse due to their gender identity or sexual orientation are expected to pay out of pocket for 6 or 12 months of IUI.
A spokesperson for Aetna said: “We are still actively investigating the facts. Aetna is committed to equal access to infertility coverage and reproductive health coverage for all its members, and we will continue to strive toward improving access to services for our entire membership.”