Maryland Senate OKs artificial insemination healthcare bill for same-sex couples

Maryland statehouse in Annapolis BRIAN WITTE [ap]

Maryland statehouse in Annapolis

Maryland statehouse in Annapolis

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Female same-sex couples in Maryland would have the same health care benefits for artificial insemination as heterosexual couples, under a bill passed by the state Senate.

Senators passed the bill 37-10 on Tuesday.

The measure would prevent health insurers from excluding benefits for outpatient expenses related to in vitro fertilization, in which the egg is fertilized outside a woman’s body and the embryo is implanted in the uterus.

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Under current law, insurers only have to provide the benefit for someone using a husband’s sperm. That has precluded female same-sex couples from coverage.

Sen. Cheryl Kagan, a Montgomery County Democrat, says the bill is aimed at updating the state’s laws. Maryland voters approved same-sex marriage in 2012.

A similar bill has passed the House on a 94-44 vote.

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