When you’re trying to get pregnant and month after month it’s not happening, it’s devastating. It doesn’t help matters when you know the answer lies in hormone injections, pills and suppositories. Beside the obvious emotional toll fertility treatments take, they can take an enormous financial one. Luckily, more and more insurances are covering these treatments – though they often come with caveats. For example, some may require multiple IUIs with injections before approving the cost of IVF. It’s also important to note that prices can vary between clinics, doctors and states for both the actual treatments and monitoring involved as well as the medications.
To find out more about IVF insurance reform we spoke with Dr. Jenna McCarthy, the medical director for WINFertility.
Momtastic: Is IVF becoming more common? Is it partially insurance related?
Dr. Jenna McCarthy: Yes, we are seeing more women undergoing IVF each year. In 2019, over 300,000 IVF cycles were done. I think that one of the biggest reasons for the increase in IVF is that it has become more affordable. In addition to lower costs for self-pay patients, more and more insurance companies are offering coverage as well.
Momtastic: What kind of IVF reform are you seeing?
Dr. Jenna McCarthy: More and more states are now requiring insurers to cover infertility treatments, including IVF. Employers have also recognized that this is a desirable benefit for potential employees.
We are also working hard to make IVF a more transparent process. Patients can search the SART database to see the success rates for most IVF centers in the US, or to use the SART success rate calculator to determine their personal chances of a successful pregnancy. (SART.org)
Momtastic: You still hear about so many people not being able to afford IVF. Even if it’s getting more common, how common is it actually for insurance to cover IVF?
Dr. Jenna McCarthy: This varies from state to state. In Massachusetts and New York all insurers must cover infertility, including IVF. In Florida, there is no state mandate, so my patients rely on their employers. Some well-known companies like Disney and Starbucks offer fertility benefits to their employees.
Momtastic: How much do IVF costs vary from clinic to clinic/doctor to doctor?
Dr. Jenna McCarthy: The cost of IVF varies from clinic to clinic and it is important to find out ahead of time exactly what is covered in your IVF package so that there are no surprises.
Does this answer all of your questions about IVF insurance reform?