A former City of New York lawyer and his husband claim their insurance company denied them coverage because they are gay
Now, they are filing a discrimination complaint to make an example about this issue.
In a complaint filed in early April, the couple alleges that the City’s official insurance discriminated against them when they tried to seek insurance coverage for IVF. This coverage is meant to cover all employees.
Nicholas Maggipinto, 36, and Corey Briskin, 33, are fighting back. They state that the policy discriminates against their gender and sexual orientation. If they were female and in a lesbian relationship or heterosexual, the coverage would be extended to their needs. Mr Briskin was a district attorney until recently.
The City of New York’s insurance benefits policy defines infertility strictly as “the inability to conceive after 12 months of unprotected intercourse.” This definition clearly leaves gay men out, as insurers “have interpreted it (intercourse) to mean intercourse between a man and a female.”
The complaint asserts that this rigid definition leaves Mr Briskin and Mr Maggipinto out in the cold, as it is impossible for them to be defined as infertile and therefore blocks them from IVF insurance coverage. They will need to use the services of an egg donor and a gestational surrogate in order to have a baby.
The Office of Labor Relations for New York City is refusing to speak publicly about the issue. Mr Briskin is incensed, as he thought that once the battle for gay marriage was won, IVF benefits would follow.
“It’s mind-blowing that in 2022 we’re still having this conversation about a policy that so clearly excludes gay men because of horribly antiquated views of homosexuality. We got the ability to get married, and the rest would have been kind of smooth sailing, but we were sorely mistaken.”
The couple’s complaint states that their lack of coverage further bolsters outdated ideas that gay men should not be parents. Mr Maggipinto says, “the other thing that we don’t want to lose sight of is that we want to bring home a baby, and short of getting the benefit, we can’t do that from a financial perspective. We just don’t have the money.”
For their IVF treatments and surrogate fees, it could cost the couple between $150,000 and $200,000 to bring home a baby
“Corey sacrificed making hundreds of thousands of dollars to be a public servant and in my view, made that up in benefits. But these are now benefits, that in a very important way, we’re not being given.” The couple just doesn’t think this is fair, and they’re willing to fight for equal treatment.
This is a developing story, and we’ll be sure to update you along the way. What do you think about gay men’s access to fertility insurance benefits? Have you experienced anything similar?
If you know a gay couple going through fertility treatments, share this article with them – let’s start a conversation on this critical topic.