An Illinois-based Catholic hospital system that employs more than 24,000 people will only cover fertility treatments for workers in opposite-sex marriagesa policy some lawyers say could violate federal discrimination statutes, according to Bloomberg Law.
Many health plans that cover fertility treatment services use the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention definition of infertility, which refers to a person being unable to get pregnant after at least a year of unprotected sex.
Under the policy it transferred this year to a new third-party administrator, OSF HealthCarewhich operates 15 hospitals and 132 other facilities in Illinois and Michigannarrows that definition to "the inability for a married couple of opposite-sex spouses to conceive" and said its coverage aimed to assist "married opposite-sex spouses" in their attempts to have children, according to documents Bloomberg Law analyzed.
OSF is owned and operated by the Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis, a religious order based in Peoria. Representatives did not respond to more than a dozen phone and email requests by Bloomberg Law to discuss the policy. A spokesperson for its new plan administrator, BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois, declined to comment.
On its website, OSF describes its mission thusly: "In the spirit of Christ and the example of Francis of Assisi, the Mission of OSF HealthCare is to serve persons with the greatest care and love in a community that celebrates the Gift of Life."
The entire article is at www.bnnbloomberg.ca/lgbtq-hospital-workers-denied-fertility-coverage-in-test-for-us-discrimination-law-1.1793447.