Should Infertility Treatments Be Covered By Insurance?



More and more infertile couples are turning to medical intervention to treat infertility. The most popular is in-vitro fertilization, although some medical procedures such as the surgical clearing of blocked fallopian tubes are also done. With the rising cost of medical insurance and increasing world population does it make sense for infertility treatments to be covered by medical insurance companies?

Why should it?

Why should the rest of the population pay for infertility treatments that cost more than $10,000 a session, when there are so many other life-threatening diseases that need to be cured and addressed? Why should other people subsidize the cost of other couples wanting to have a child, when there’s adoption available?

Drugs, money, cash, stethoscopeIn cases when the treatment can be life saving, by all means, patients should be granted access to good medical care. However, if the couple is otherwise healthy and the desire to have children is simply something borne out of emotion rather than a life or death situation, why should the rest of us be made to pay for their desire to add to the world population?

Perhaps if it is socially necessary to produce more children, then that is another argument. For example, if we were like Japan or New Zealand, wherein the population is quickly dwindling and we are in need of more people, then perhaps resources can be put towards this. However, for an already overburdened health care system, it’s more important at this point to provide care to those who are already alive, rather than to bring forth more human lives to the world through artificial means.

My argument for not letting insurance carriers cover infertility costs is the same as not allowing cosmetic plastic surgery part of coverage. It’s not necessary and it’s an optional choice made by people. Besides, once a baby is conceived, that child then becomes part of the health care system and the rest of the population then subsidizes the cost of vaccination shots and well baby checkups.

It may seem heartless to some people desperate to have a child to hear this. But really, it is a free choice to go through medical intervention to reach conception, so others shouldn’t be made to pay for it. If the couple can’t afford the cost of fertility treatments, then how can they afford the cost of taking care of the child and sending him to school? If right off the bat, there’s a financial constraint, then shouldn’t they think twice about getting a baby this way?

It’s not as if there aren’t other options available. If a couple really wants a child, then there’s adoption. There are so many children in the world in need to loving parents. For a couple that really wants to have a child, it shouldn’t matter if the baby comes from their own womb and shares their genetic DNA or if the baby came from elsewhere.

The insurance and health care system is already being over stretched and overtaxed, with more and more items being covered that didn’t used to be allowed. To allow infertility treatments to be included may only raise the overall cost of medical insurance and compromise the quality of health care for the rest of us.

What do you think? Should health insurance plans cover infertility treatments? Sound off in the comments below.

Margaret Keely works towards a healthier America through health care advocacy and sharing her knowledge in nursing classes.


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4 Responses to Should Infertility Treatments Be Covered By Insurance?

  1. Mia Silvetti May 18, 2011 at 4:48 am #

    EFF, yeah!

  2. Jennifer Morgan April 4, 2012 at 3:13 am #

    What a load of crap!

    1. Ever hear of birth dirth?

    2. Numerous studies using places with infertility insurance as examples have shown that comprehensive infertility insurance lowers insurance premiums by an average on $1 per month per subscriber.

    3. Only about 5% of infertile couples need expensive treatment such as IVF. Most infertility issues are resolved with less expensive medicine.

    4. My insurance covers a whole slew of non life threatening issues. Why should I pay for birth control, viagra, acupuncture, vasectomies, chiropractic care? Because that’s what insurance is for! It’s a group of people paying for things they don’t need on the off chance that one day they’ll need it.

    5. Adoption can cost $30,000 or more and take years to happen.

    6. Ability to pay for a child has nothing to do with the argument for coverage. Yes, I can afford to pay out of pocket for any infertility treatment but why should I have to when I already pay for insurance? You do understand that normal labor and delivery is covered, right? Do you also argue against that coverage on the grounds of ability to pay? Also, how many of us have $15,000+ dollars sitting in a bank account? Are you really saying only those people should have children? Are you also advocating that the ones who don’t have that kind of money be sterilized?

    7. Have you seriously ever looked at adoption? In Haiti you have to be married for 10 years, in China you have to have $30,000 in the bank, etc. The restrictions are not easy for some people.

    8. It sounds like you’re making an argument for policies on socialized medicine. Private insurance should be able to cover whatever their customers want and will pay to have covered. The reason most don’t cover it is the same reason most insurances didn’t cover birth control twenty years ago, they didn’t understand the profit margin.

  3. Kerri August 1, 2012 at 12:30 am #

    Yes, infertility treatment should be covered by insurance. Insurance companies cover contraceptives and abortions for people who have a choice not to get pregnant, so why shouldn’t insurance companies cover infertility treatments for people who medically can not have children and do not have a choice. Couples face a financial burden trying to conceive through artificial means and exhaust those resources. It does not mean that they would not be able to financially support a child once the child is born. A woman’s body was meant to have children in their teens and twenties. The times have changed and women are now trying to conceive in their thirties, but our bodies have not changed with the times. Our society is no longer a one income household and woman have put their careers first to be able to be in a stable relationship and home environment in order to provide for their children. Infertility rates have increased drastically for both women and men. Our offspring will be supporting the elderly in future years. The person who wrote this article obviously has never tried to adopt a child in the United States. Why do you think so many American’s are going to other countries to adopt children? The cost of adoption can be more expensive than infertiltiy treatment and IVF and legally very difficult in the United States. There are alot of children available for adoption, most with pre-exiting medical conditions, few that are under the age of one years. I would adopt, but in the state of Pennsylvania, if you would like to adopt a child under the age of 10, you have to be a foster parent first. The birth parents have the right to change their mind, and/or, get their act together and you could be a foster parent for 18 months and then have the child taken away from you. What about the emotion that a person would feel then? How about not knowing if that child does have medical conditions that require special care 24 hours a day?
    Get your facts together first and then think about whether or not insurance companies should cover infertility treatments!!!

  4. Victory December 21, 2012 at 10:11 am #

    The issue of whether insurance should cover fertility treatments like in vitro fertilization can be tricky. On one hand, coverage on this type of medical procedure can greatly help many couples who want to have a baby. On the other hand, your point that it’s not a necessity is also valid. I think that if ever these treatments will be covered, there should be strict guidelines attached to it.