Gay couple in Hawaii paid more than $20,000 for a fertility procedure when they decided to have a child using a surrogate mother. They did not know at the time that if they were a heterosexual couple, they might have saved that money.
The couple along with other members of Hawaii’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community are lobbying for equal access to the financial help married, heterosexual couples enjoy under state law.
They are pushing legislation that would require insurance companies to cover in vitro fertilization for more couples, including making Hawaii the first state to require the coverage for surrogates, which would help male same-sex couples who must use a surrogate.
Hawaii is one of eight states that require insurance companies to cover in vitro fertilization, a costly procedure where a doctor retrieves eggs from a woman, combines them with sperm from a man and then implants an embryo into a woman’s uterus.
But Hawaii’s mandate applies only to married heterosexual couples because it covers the medical intervention only if a woman uses sperm from her spouse, leaving the LGBT community and single women behind.
Kaiser Permanente Hawaii opposed the measure, saying the medical provider and insurer does not perform in vitro fertilization with donor eggs or surrogates because of complex legal issues and medical risks. The company asked lawmakers to remove egg donors and surrogates from the bill, saying requiring coverage of additional procedures would raise costs for the company and its customers.
If the legislation passes, it would be ground breaking as Hawaii could become the first state in the nation to include surrogate parents in the mandated coverage.