Connecticut Insurance Department Corrects Discriminatory and Illegal Insurance Practices with Policy that Secures Essential Infertility Benefits

(Washington, D.C.) Today, Governor Dannel P. Malloy and Connecticut Insurance Department Commissioner Katharine L. Wade announced new state health insurance guidance that will ensure that Connecticut insurance companies cover infertility treatment, when medically appropriate, for women and men ages 40 and older. This new policy requires private health insurers to remove current discriminatory age limits on this benefit and implements the clear intent of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Commissioner Wade said in a statement Thursday. The guidance follows the National Women’s Law Center April 2015 report, which analyzed insurance company documents for health plans sold on the health insurance marketplaces and exposed numerous violations of ACA requirements for women’s health coverage in 15 states, including Connecticut. 

“Today’s guidance is another important step forward towards eradicating discrimination in our health care system,” said Marcia Greenberger, Co-President of the National Women’s Law Center.  “The Affordable Care Act prohibits discrimination in health care and, with this new guidance, Connecticut has made a major part of the law’s protections work for women and their families. We commend Governor Malloy and Commissioner Wade on today’s guidance, and look forward to their continuing leadership on ACA implementation.” 

“The promise of the Affordable Care Act includes providing women with the tools to plan their families as they see fit,” said Susan Yolen, Vice President of Public Policy and Advocacy of Planned Parenthood of Southern New England, whose organization was a key partner of NWLC’s in Connecticut. “While we most often think of family planning as pregnancy prevention for younger women, there are an increasing number of women who choose parenthood later in their reproductive lives, only to experience infertility. The State of Connecticut, the National Women’s Law Center and insurance carriers alike should all be commended for creating this new proactive policy to cover infertility treatment over age 40.”  

“We still have more work to do,” Greenberger noted. “Section 1557 of the ACA provides a broad prohibition against discrimination in health care. NWLC calls on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to issue regulations immediately implementing this critical provision.  We also call on state regulators to enforce the law, and health care providers and insurance companies to ensure that their policies and practices are in compliance with it.”