Md. bill aims to make in vitro fertilization more accessible

Maryland

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WDVM) — With the traditional family unit is more liberally defined in this day and age, lawmakers in the Maryland General Assembly hope to update insurance laws that govern coverage for in vitro fertilization.

Sen. Shelly Hettleman (D-Baltimore County) has received widespread support for her proposal to decrease the time insurance covers in vitro fertilization after trying and failing to conceive by other methods.  It also extends coverage for unmarried couples, a departure from current law.

“More and more, unmarried couples want children,” says Hettleman. The House of Delegates has already passed legislation prohibiting insurance discrimination based on the marital status of the policyholder.

Under Hettleman’s bill, an unmarried person must have three unsuccessful attempts at artificial insemination over the course of one year and infertility must be associated with a medical condition that prevents pregnancy.

Married couples would be eligible for coverage in one year, instead of two, under Hettleman’s bill. Same-sex couples and unwed prospective parents would also qualify for coverage after six attempts in two years to three attempts in just one year.

Washington County Delegate Neil Parrott was joined in opposition to the bill by more than 30 House members. He cited studies showing children should be raised in two-parent households and said the costs of the Hettleman bill would be passed on to all insurance consumers.

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