Should the state provide funding for IVF treatment to couples who are unable to conceive naturally?
This is a controversial question and you can easily find pros as you can find cons to it. In this article we will focus on which states offer IVF funding and if there are any organizations that cover the cost of IVF.
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is a medical procedure to assist infertile couples to conceive children. The process contains fertilizing egg cells with sperm outside the womb (in vitro) and transfers the fertilized egg into the biological mother’s womb or the womb of a surrogate.
Pregnancy rates are around 35% under IVF treatment. Due to low success rate, couples have to go through several cycles before successfully getting a baby. Therefore the cost of IVF is so high. The cost of IVF overall per baby can range from $40,000 in USA to $24,000 in Scandinavia and Japan. Belgium, Sweden, Australia and Israel provide funding for several cycles of IVF. UK’s NHS offers funding for one cycle.
The fist “test-tube” baby was born in 1978. Since then IVF gave people hope where hope never existed. That hope comes with a price and for some it never works. According to Beverly Hanck from Infertility Awareness Association of Canada, 3 attempts is average and 6 is not common.
Due to many reasons, among which our nowadays lifestyle, one in six couples experience infertility. The World Health Organization calls infertility a disease. Therefore many organizations consider that since it is a disease infertility treatment must be made available as a funded service. However not many states offer funding.
It may seem like a dead end but there are ways to get IVF funding.
Some states provide IVF funding for couples who are experiencing infertility problems but cannot afford the treatment. Since 1980 14 states require insurance companies to cover or offer coverage for infertility diagnosis and treatment: Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas and West Virginia.
In case you live in a state that does not offer IVF funding, you may take part in clinical research. A lot is still unknown about IVF so this will help the technology to advance. Research might only consist in some blood tests or questionnaires but it can also contain taking drugs so you have to take some possible risk in consideration.
In case taking part in a research is not appealing, there are other ways to get IVF funding such as shared IVF cycle. This means that you will donate some of the eggs you produce to a couple who cannot produce them. In this way you will receive half of the costs back in compensation for donating your eggs.
Another possibility to get funding is to apply for a health care or bank loan. You should take in consideration the cost that can get quite high in case you would need to undergo more than one cycle.
There are out there some organizations that provide grants and scholarships for infertility treatment based on reason, financial statement and insurance coverage. Some of those organizations are:
- Fertile Dreams IVF Scholarship: offers 3 scholarships for 3 couple per year worth $10,000 each to cover the cost of IVF. The applicants have to fill out an application, write a letter with their infertility history, provide a letter of recommendation from their doctor, be under 40 years old, have health insurance that covers pregnancy and supply financial data. Couples of same sex are eligible with proof of relationship stability. Single women are eligible if they supply details about their financial possibility to take care of a child alone.
- International Council for Infertility Information Dissemination Scholarship (INCIID): offers one IVF cycle to couples that qualify based on financial need as well as medical need. Applicants have to offer letter of recommendation from their doctor and should be member of INCIID donating at least $55 per year.
- Cade Foundation Grant: offers grants up to $10,000 for infertility or domestic adoption. Applicants must fill out an application, be USA citizen and live in the USA, provide documented proof of their infertility and pay a $40 fee.
- New York State IVF Grant: covers up to 2 IVF cycles and it is for New York residents only that are between 21 and 44 years old, have private insurance and make less than $195,000 per year. In case the couple has low likelihood of success (abnormal FSH levels, 3 or more failed IVF cycles, IVF cycles canceled due to poor response), they will not be offered any grant.
- East Coast Fertility IVF Grant: provides funding to applicants from USA who have to fill out an application and follow an interview with ECF.
- Bringing U Maternal Paternal Success (BUMPS): helps couple who have problems in conceiving. Selection is based on applicant’s circumstances, fertility history, financial situation, etc. Couples with no children have priority.
- Fertile Dreams –The embracing Hope Grant: offers IVF funding to couple that have medical insurance but does not cover for fertility treatment. Offers grants of $10,000 that can be used for IVF cycle in any fertility clinic in USA. Applicants have to supply proof of income and have to give the organization full rights to share their story.
- Pay it Forward Fertility Foundation: offers one grant annually to couples that are uninsured for infertility treatments. The treatment has to be done by a clinic that is a member of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology and located in North Carolina.
To find out what kind of insurance coverage you have, you might have to talk to your employer or your insurance company. Tips in what kind of questions you should ask your employer are: does your current health plan cover infertility treatment; is there any other plan that provides benefits for infertility treatment and what will be the difference in cost; does your health plan has any restrictions to the benefits they pay for infertility treatments; what is the waiting period required before you can start your treatment.
Tips in what questions you should ask your insurance company are: what are the infertility benefits in your plan; what is excluded; are there age limits; does your health plan cover infertility diagnosis, treatments and drug therapies; does your plan cover lab and blood work, progesterone and estrogen levels, FSH, LH, TSH, semen analysis, endometrial biopsy, HSG, ultrasound; does your plan cover infertility drugs such as: clomiphene citrate, gonadotropin releasing hormone antagonists, HMG, HCG, FSH; do you have to use a specific pharmacy; what type of infertility treatments are covered: IUI, IVF, GIFT, ZIFT, ICSI; are you restricted to certain clinics; which hospitals are affiliated with your plan; are you restricted to certain specialists.
Learn more about Fertility Medical Loan please follow the link for detailed information.