Research: LGBTQ Family Planning and a Financial Solution

In research commissioned by Fertility Centers of Illinois, individual perspectives on family planning, fertility education, and health were explored with 1,208 women ages 25-45 without children. Of the women surveyed, approximately 125 identified as lesbian/gay or bisexual.

The survey results found that the family planning goals of LGB and straight women are very similar. While the majority of lesbian and bisexual women have considered having a child and would like to have a child in the future, they are more worried about finances and emotional preparedness than their straight counterparts.

Major survey findings:

  • 75% “have been interested, are still interested or wish they had children, while 25% say “not now, not in the past, not in the future” (versus 20% of straight)
  • 14% of LGB women report having tried to get pregnant in the past (vs. 11% of straight women) and 7% are currently trying (vs. 14% of straight women)
  • LGB women are more comfortable pursuing different options for getting pregnant (85% are comfortable, with 55% “very” comfortable for LGB women; vs. 79% who are comfortable, with 35% “very” comfortable, for straight women)
  • LGB women are more worried about having finances in order and being emotionally prepared for children than are straight women

Updates to LGBT Fertility Coverage

For LGBT couples and individuals worried about finances and the costs of fertility treatment, a state mandate development may provide hope. A subtle change to the IL Mandate for fertility coverage has revised the definition of infertility to acknowledge that sexual intercourse is not necessary for conception. For an LGBT couple or individual wishing to start a family, the hope is that insurance companies will cover a portion (or all) of fertility treatment costs.

Illinois is one of eight states with mandated fertility coverage, but until now the law did not specify that insurance coverage should include treatment for same sex couples. Employers may be exempt from the state mandate if a company’s main headquarters are located outside of Illinois, the company is self-insured, or if it employs fewer than 25 people.

Women are advised to confirm with their employer’s benefits department whether the company falls into one of the above categories, or check directly with their insurance companies to confirm how mandate changes have affected their coverage for infertility treatment and IVF. Also, those who have received a rejected claim are advised to file an appeal, as many rejections are often overturned.

At Fertility Centers of Illinois, we have helped many same sex couples achieve parenthood. Our financial counselors will also work with you to uncover insurance benefits and discount eligibilities available.

To learn more about family planning as an LGBT couple, read patient Q&A pieces from couples that share their experiences in their own words:

Two Moms, Two Babies: One Family – Dana & Kira’s Story