Illinois health system blocks fertility coverage for LGBTQ employees

Peoria, Ill.-based OSF HealthCare will only cover fertility treatment for employees in opposite-sex marriages, Bloomberg Law reported July 18. 

Many health plans that cover fertility treatment services use the CDC's definition of infertility, which refers to a person being unable to get pregnant after at least a year of unprotected sex, according to the report. 

Under the policy OSF transferred to a new third-party administrator this year, the health system narrows the definition to “the inability for a married couple of opposite sex spouses to conceive."

The Catholic health system's policy is one of the first instances of an employer explicitly excluding coverage, not because of objections to the treatment they are seeking, but because of their sexual orientation, lawyers and LGBTQ rights advocates told Bloomberg Law

OSF employs more than 24,000 people at 15 hospitals and 132 other facilities in Illinois and Michigan, according to the report. 

No employees have publicly challenged the provisions in the plan, which does not fall under Illinois law because it is funded by the health system, according to the report. It's unclear whether the plan could be challenged as discriminatory under the ACA. 

OSF representatives did not respond to requests for comment from Bloomberg Law. A spokesperson for BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois — the new plan administrator — declined to comment. 

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