Illinois has made starting families much more accessible and affordable for LGBTQ couples and single individuals.
State Representative Margaret Croke, D-Chicago, has recently introduced a bill that would extend to LGBTQ couples and people without partners state law protections that require large companies that offer pregnancy benefits to also cover fertility treatments. The old state law protections required that couples seeking coverage for fertility treatments first try to conceive naturally for a full year. This requirement effectively excludes LGBTQ couples and people without partners. New York, California, and Maryland have already passed laws that extend these kinds of protections.
Fertility treatments such as IVF are incredibly expensive, as are related procedures such as egg freezing. Under the current Illinois law, an individual was not eligible for insurance coverage for egg freezing if they were not in a heterosexual relationship and using the egg freezing as a mode of fertility treatment.
Croke’s bill extends coverage to individuals without partners, as well as lowers the 12-month requirement for women over the age of 35 in heterosexual relationships. The bill grants them state law required coverage after just six months of attempts to conceive, not twelve.
Croke’s bill passed without Republican support, nor could Republican leaders be reached for comment regarding the bill.
The bill does not cover the costs of surrogacy, a method of alternative family planning common to LGTBQ couples who cannot give birth to children naturally on their own. The insurance coverage and protections ensuring coverage wouldn’t cover the costs related to compensating the surrogate mother, the costs of egg donation, or for travel and the like. The bill would cover the costs of the required IVF, which can cost around $20,000 and may need to be repeated.
This bill ensures that loving parents, no matter their age, sexuality, or relationship status, have access to the same family planning protections and coverage that have been available to CIS gendered, heterosexual couples in Illinois for the last thirty years.
The bill is expected to go to the House floor by the end of May.
For more information about your parentage rights as a result of an adoption or surrogate, call the attorneys of Kiswani Law at 708-210-9247.