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Should infertility treatments be covered under the health care bill?

Should infertility treatments be covered under the health care bill?

While I was speaking at a conference at USF on Maternal and Child Health, the costs of infertility treatments became a big topic. With treatments often running in the thousands, and so few insurance companies offering coverage, how might that change under the proposed health care legislation?

Infertility Medical Coverage Questions

Is infertility a medical disorder which should be paid for like any other disease? Or a luxury which only the well-to-do can afford? What about low-income women, who can barely cover their own basic needs, much less supporting a child? Do they deserve coverage too?

The Institute of Medicine is researching the impact of this thorny question.

health-care-300x300[1]Infertility Insurance Coverage Survey

A survey conducted for Resolve found that only 20% of employers cover infertility treatments such as IVF; of those who did, 91% said it had not significantly increased their costs. In Massachusetts, where coverage is mandated, the cost to add fertility treatment has been estimated to be a mere $1.71 a month! Fifteen states already mandate coverage, but a federal mandate?

My View On Infertility Medical Coverage

As a counselor who works with couples devastated by the loss of not having a child, often due to medical conditions beyond their control, I personally would support infertility treatments being covered under the new bill, if it indeed becomes law in one form or another. I don’t consider having a child to be a luxury – the desire to procreate is innate. If vasectomies, contraception and tubal ligations are covered, why not this?

But a case will be made by many, concerned about the rising costs of health care, that having a child is a choice, and not all choices in life are fair.

Your Thoughts on Infertility Health Care Coverage?

Would you be willing to support the health care bill if it made infertility treatments available to all? Should the government be able to force insurance companies to offer coverage?

How much money did you spend trying to conceive, and did you get insurance coverage?

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