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Shout Out for The Family Act of 2011, S 965

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Last week, The Family Act of 2011 was introduced to the Senate. Known as S 965, the legislation was introduced by U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) as a bill to establish a tax credit for in vitro fertilization (IVF) if it is indicated as a fertility treatment.

Why Infertile Couples Need The Family Act of 2011, S 965

One in eight U.S. couples of childbearing age is diagnosed with infertility (approximately 7.3 million people), according to RESOLVE, The National Infertility Association. Successful passage of the S 965 legislation would reduce the cost barriers to fertility treatments such as IVF and provide more access and important financial help for couples trying to build their families.

Both RESOLVE and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) support The Family Act 2011, S 965.

“As a New Yorker, I am extremely proud to be represented by Senator Gillibrand,” says Roger Lobo, MD, ASRM President. “I am very pleased she is taking the lead on this important issue.”

There are only 15 states that have passed laws requiring that insurance policies cover or offer to cover some level of infertility treatment. The majority of families have to pay for assisted reproductive technologies out-of-pocket, and the costs are considerable. According to FertilityAuthority research, The average cost of an in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle using fresh embryos (not including fertility medications) is $8,158. On average, the medications for IVF run $3,000-$5,000 per fresh cycle.

The bill S.965 would provide a tax credit of up to 50 percent of the cost of qualified infertility treatment expenses. The legislation is modeled after the existing adoption tax credit.

“Because most health plans do not cover infertility treatments, too many patients have difficulty gaining access to the care they need,” Dr. Lobo says. “This legislation will improve access to care for thousands of patients."

Key Points of The Family Act 2011, S 965

  • The Family Act of 2011, S 965 is a bill in the U.S. Senate that would create a tax credit for the out-of-pocket costs incurred for the medical treatment of infertility.
  • Taxpayers would be able to claim a tax credit if they have been diagnosed as infertile by a licensed physician and the indicated course of treatment is IVF.
  • The maximum lifetime credit amount available to taxpayers would b $13,360.
  • The credit would be available for taxpayers who have an adjusted gross income of less than $182,500 and phases out for those whose incomes reach $222,520.
  • There is a 50/50 cost share inherent in the credit so eligible tax payers may claim the credit for up to one half of their expenses

What You Can Do to Support The Family Act 2011, S 965

You can write to your state’s two U.S. Senators and ask them to co-sponsor the Family Act of 2011, S 965.

The goal is to get as many Senators as possible to co-sponsor this bill and to seek a hearing on the bill in the appropriate Senate Committees. You can urge your family and friends around the country to send a letter as well.