MHB's primary advocacy goal is to broaden access to affordable parenting options for gay men. Major progress has been made in removing legal barriers for surrogacy in the USA, but we'd like to also raise awareness that financial barriers prevent the majority of prospective parents from taking advantage of these legal achievements. The good news is that now more than ever, much can be done to lower these barriers.
The purpose of this forum was to set an agenda and encourage advocacy in areas where the most progress can be made, including:
- Amend existing and proposed IVF insurance laws (in states and for federal employees) with an inclusive definition for "infertility," and to allow a third party (GS / ED) receive the services in place of the covered individual.
- Eliminating exclusions and liens on maternity and delivery coverage for surrogates (either through their insurance or that of the IPs).
- Coverage at work: initiatives to expand the breadth and depth of surrogacy related coverage by employers - through increasing awareness, transparency, and tools for employee advocacy.
- Amending tax regulations to allow for deduction of surrogacy related medical and legal expanses, or recognize them as eligible for Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) / Health savings accounts (HSA).
- Offer more opportunities for affordable financing and charitable financial assistance.
In addition, MHB's board member, Dr. Silvia Schneider Fox, provided an update on surrogacy related research initiatives, including our growing Research Library and new proposed studies.
The Advocacy Forum was offered in conjunction with MHB's annual (virtual) NY conference that took place the following two days - February 6-7.
Suggested Readings / Relevant Links
- Fertility Equality Movement Gets Boost From The New York Times
- How High Costs and Discriminatory Insurance Policies Affect Men Building Families
- New definition of "Infertility" as part of the RESOLVE model act, drafted in collaboration with MHB and NCLR
- Chicago Gay Couple Sues Blue Cross / Blue Shield for Discriminatory Fertility Coverage
- 11th Circuit Denies Tax Deduction For Gay Man's Reproductive Expenses (2017)
- Infertility Insurance Coverage by State / RESOLVE
- RESOLVE's Coverage at Work Employee Resource Hub
- Fertility Loans from the Hebrew Free Loans Society (HFLS) - also facilitating Interest Free Loans via MHB
For a limited time, you may watch the event recordings below:
Major Areas Where Progress Can Be Made to Remove Financial Obstacles for Surrogacy
More Inclusive Definition of Infertility for IVF Benefits / Risa Levine, RESOLVE
Eliminating exclusions and liens on maternity and delivery coverage for surrogates / Virginia Hart and Steve Snyder
Making NY State IVF Coverage More Inclusive / NY Senator Brad Hoylman
Opportunities to Offer Interest Free Surrogacy Loans / Kim Kaplan, The Hebrew Free Loan Society (HFLS)
The Role of Charitable Financial Assistance / Doctors Guy Ringler and Said Daneshmand
Research update / Silvia Schneider Fox, MHB Board Member