Should insurance companies cover infertility technologies?
4 mins read

Should insurance companies cover infertility technologies?

At present it is evaluated that in the United States, one out of eight couples is infertile – reports Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But with the help of assisted reproductive technologies, even infertile couples are able to get their own child. With the growing numbers of successful cases, the number of infertility treatments around the US has been going up too. Thus health care experts are pitching forward for fertility technology and treatments to be included in insurance plans on a hasty notice. Should insurance companies include these treatments, couples can cut down on the financial coverage they have to put in and it’ll be a much easier service for them to get.

But insurance companies – private and public ones both – do not yet include fertility technology or treatments under their coverage. Whenever the question arises about – Should insurance companies cover infertility technologies? – We need to look on a variety of aspects related. Health insurances are there to give coverage for essential life benefits only. But it is debated if giving coverage for Infertility techs is actually an essential benefit or not? Is it really that or just a life-enhancement practice, which is nice to have but not exactly necessary?

Within the United States, 16 states including Maryland, require infertility technologies and procedures to be counted under the cover plans of insurance companies – this was reported by a research done by Health Policy Institute, Georgetown University. Why do they believe so? Because the current conditions are not good enough, in carrying out a service that attracts lots of couples.

In the US, no more than 19% of ART, mainly in-vitro fertilization technologies are given coverage from employers. A report was conducted that showed the majority of the employers who don’t provide such coverage say their reason is the additional cost which is concerning. But among the employers who do give this benefit, a startling 92% have expressed that the additional cost isn’t so big to be called significant.

It is another concerning fact that when insurances do give coverage it is actually a mere fraction of the whole treatment costs. Like if a couple is going through with IVF, they may only get enough coverage for consultation fees or tests. Sometimes the coverage clears payment for parts of the whole procedure -said the director of Patient financial services, Janice Koch.

But the coverage still leaves a large gap to be much helpful. Fertility programs and clinics have shown records of it. Whole in-vitro fertilization takes up a lot of time and expenses. Some coverage plans though – only cover portions like intrauterine insemination (also known as artificial insemination), egg implantation, or just the fertility drugs induced to stimulate the rate of ovule or egg production, etc. costs. They do this in name of coverage but leave out the more expensive counterparts. Sometimes the cover plan includes more cycles but the insurance terms use a limitation of costs per cycle and may cap the bill at a price that won’t even cover 1/3 of the actual price. So the couple may run themselves dry trying to cover what is left.

But having insurance is supposed to save you from going bankrupt and support you, isn’t it? Thus more and more states are trying to appeal for fertility technologies to be included in insurance policies. The Institute of Medicine has conjured up a panel for this cause. They are fighting for this along with other issues that have come into the light because of the newest health-care law. The panel members have been entrusted with the research and determination of all the essential health policies and programs that should include, fertility technologies being one of the more pressured ones.