Insurance Advocacy Forum

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In the United States, one of the richest and most technically advanced nations on earth, millions of couples remain involuntarily childless. A conservative estimate places the number of U.S. couples that grapple with infertility annually at 5,000,000, yet less than 20% of those couples will undergo some form of definitive treatment. The high cost of infertility treatment, especially the advanced Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) such as In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), has resulted in reluctance on the part of most insurance companies to provide benefits for infertility and therefore, has rendered such medical intervention financially inaccessible to the general infertile population. Although a few states have enacted legislation requiring health insurance providers to offer or provide infertility benefits, such coverage is often limited, or absent altogether due to regulatory loopholes. The majority of employer groups as well as health insurance providers continue to avoid voluntarily including infertility benefits. They recognize that such benefits would spawn an increase in the demand for these specialized services. This fuels their fear of the spiraling costs that might be brought about by a disproportionate increase in the demand for expensive ART, and the costly neonatal services required to deal with the potential influx of premature babies resulting from IVF-related multiple births.

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