To be perfectly blunt: infertility insurance in the United States is really shitty. Spotty and inconsistent, the options for receiving comprehensive coverage for anything outside of the traditional method of conceiving “naturally” are bleak, at best. However, with advocacy organizations like Resolve pushing for new and expanded fertility laws, as well as financial support and tips to self-advocate for employer assistance – hope is on the horizon. Read below for a recap of current infertility insurance options, plus what you can do to help shoulder the expense of IVF.
Does Insurance Cover In Vitro Fertilization?
At current time, reproductive healthcare in the United States does not include coverage for “infertility treatments,” which encompasses any medical intervention needed in order to conceive. Since the 1980s, there are only 15 states in the U.S. that mandate infertility insurance laws (with Delaware pushing to become the 16th state). However out of these 15 states, coverage is spotty and inconsistent – and not all require that insurance plans cover the most important fertility treatments, like in vitro fertilization (IVF). Other procedures, like fertility preservation (i.e. egg freezing), are even less likely to be covered by insurance providers and were still considered “experimental” up until 2012.
Does your state mandate infertility insurance? Check out the list below.
Infertility Insurance Coverage by State:
- New Jersey
- New York
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
- Delaware (coming soon!)
Don’t see your state on this list? Unfortunately, in states without mandated laws, most insurance providers will not cover infertility services — in particular the more costly procedures, like IVF.
“In most cases (not all of course), it is not a fertility diagnosis that stands directly in the way of becoming a parent, it is the ability to afford the treatment…that becomes the biggest barrier.” — Resolve.org.
No IVF Insurance Options? Here’s What You Can Do
If you live in a state that offers no fertility coverage laws or your employer’s insurance package offers no help, you can do the following:
Petition your employer to offer coverage.
Most people don’t realize that the decision for insurance coverage ultimately sits with the employers and not the insurance providers (i.e. insurance companies would offer more coverage if employers were requesting it). Although this may seem like a daunting task, Resolve’s “Coverage at Work” initiative offers amazing resources, templates, facts and figures to walk you through the process.
Contact your local representative and ask them to introduce legislation to require infertility treatment coverage.
Apply for an infertility treatment scholarship or state grant.
Apply for an infertility financing program.
Get involved with Resolve’s advocacy initiatives to help push coverage in your state.
Impact of IVF Benefits on Employees
If your employer needs more convincing regarding the benefits of offering infertility insurance, feel free to pass along this awesome infographic compiled by Resolve.org. The study surveyed over 700 employees who had undergone at least one IVF procedure and shows that when employers offer fertility coverage people are:
- much more satisfied with their employer
- relaxed at their job
- less likely to miss work days
- much more focused and competent in their work!
Although this information isn’t surprising and may seem painfully obvious to an IVF patient, it’s less so to employers who are naturally out of touch with nuanced medical processes. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to give them a friendly reminder of the benefits of taking care of their own!
My husband and I have wanted children for many years now and we have struggled with infertility, so we would like to get in vitro fertilization. However, it is very expensive so I am glad that I found this article because I did not realize there are so many options for finding financial aid. You make a great point that you can actually apply for a scholarship or state grant. Also, the fact that you can actually petition your employer to include IVF coverage in their insurance plan is something that I will make sure to share with my husband.