After Class-Action Lawsuit, Aetna Will Equally Cover Fertility Treatment for LGBTQ+ Couples

Health insurance company Aetna will now equally cover artificial insemination and other fertility treatments for all customers nationally, as part of a settlement in a lawsuit that alleged discrimination against LGBTQ+ people.

The National Women’s Law Center and the law firm Brinckerhoff Abady Ward & Maazel LLP initially filed suit against the insurer in September 2021. The class action lawsuit alleged that Aetna’s definition of infertility led to unequal insurance coverage treatment for LGBTQ+ couples. Heterosexual couples could receive coverage for infertility treatments if they said they were unable to become pregnant after six or 12 months of intercourse. However, LGBTQ+ couples had to pay out of pocket for six or 12 cycles of artificial insemination — which can cost thousands of dollars — before becoming eligible to be covered for additional rounds or for in-vitro fertilization.

While Aetna’s settlement means that the company will not be held legally liable for the alleged discrimination, the insurance company agreed to make a number of landmark changes to its policies, according to a press release from the National Women’s Law Center.


Emma Goidel, the lead plaintiff in the case, called the settlement “a big win for queer families.” “It means so many of us who hope to become parents or have more children can now begin the journey to do that with the same access to fertility treatment coverage as heterosexual couples,” she said in a statement in the press release, adding her hope that other insurance companies would follow Aetna’s lead.

Alison Tanner, Senior Litigation Counsel for Reproductive Rights and Health at the National Women’s Law Center, additionally called the settlement a “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.”