Aetna agrees to provide equal fertility coverage for LGBTQ+ people in landmark settlement

“We celebrate this significant stride toward achieving justice for LGBTQ+ people who have faced obstacle after obstacle trying to access the health care services that they need to build their families,” said Alison Tanner, Senior Litigation Counsel for Reproductive Rights and Health at the National Women’s Law Center.

Aetna also agreed to pay out a $2 million dollar common fund for additional compensation for class members, as well as the cost of an administrator and special master to allocate the funds. The company also agreed to re-process eligible insurance claims in order to reimburse class members for their out-of-pocket artificial insemination cycles up to the plan limits.

Although this lawsuit was specifically against Aetna, the problem is not unique to the company. Several large insurance companies do not automatically offer coverage for fertility treatments to same-sex couples. Even as more medium and large employers take up fertility coverage for their employees as a recruiting strategy, a 2021 survey found that only 35% included coverage for LGBTQ+ people, who are generally excluded under the current working definition of infertility.

This settlement marks the beginning of righting a wrong that has kept countless hopeful parents from the support and justice they deserve.

“This settlement is a big win for queer families,” [Emma] Goidel said in a statement. “We hope other insurance companies will follow Aetna’s example and review their policies to make sure everyone has equal access to fertility care.”