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Honda Criticized for Discriminatory Insurance Practices
Date:8/19/2008

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., Aug. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Doctors and health care professionals at Alabama Fertility Specialists were caught off guard when they looked into Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) insurance coverage for one of their patients. ART includes costly, but effective procedures like in vitro fertilization, intra-uterine insemination and other methods used with women who are having difficulty getting pregnant. Those doctors and health care professionals became concerned when they discovered Honda Manufacturing of Alabama refuses ART coverage for same sex couples.

"I was surprised and a little disappointed. I thought that big businesses in the United States were, by and large, recognizing domestic partnerships like this for health care benefits," says Dr. Michael Steinkampf, MD of Alabama Fertility Specialists, who's been helping couples get pregnant for 21 years.

Karen Hammond, MSN, CRNP, who works alongside Steinkampf says, "Since their Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama policy offers ART benefits, it is extremely troubling that Honda has chosen to solely and specifically exclude same sex partners from ART benefits."

The BC/BS Honda Manufacturing of Alabama policy specifically states:

"Benefits for fertility treatment and ART are limited to a lifetime maximum payment of $30,000.00."

The above verbiage applies to heterosexual couples. The disturbing part of the policy reads:

"Effective January 1, 2008, Honda Manufacturing of Alabama requests that Blue Cross and Blue Shield exclude domestic partners (same sex partners) from ART benefits including diagnostic services related to fertility/infertility that have a fertility or infertility diagnosis".

Steinkampf says, "I do have some personal experience providing infertility services for such patients. I have found them to be very good patients and excellent parents. I have watched these children grow up over the years and they are healthy and happy in every w
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SOURCE The American Fertility Association
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