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Funding Infertility: A Look at the Financial Implications of Trying to Get Pregnant

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INFORUM,  April 2, 2012

Chad and Shannon Elbert had invested thousands of dollars into their first in vitro fertilization cycle when her doctor canceled the procedure in October 2009. Her body hadn’t produced as many egg follicles as hoped. At this point, the Hope, N.D, couple had already gone through nine rounds of artificial insemination coupled with fertility medication. When they were able to complete a cycle in May 2010, Elbert had reached the lifetime maximum for infertility coverage on her health insurance plan. With help from their families, they paid $16,000 out of pocket. Since the 1980s, 15 states have passed laws that require insurers to either cover or offer coverage for infertility diagnosis and treatment, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. North Dakota and Minnesota are not among them, but there is more pressure on insurance carriers to cover at least portion of infertility treatments to remain competitive, says Jack Easton, director of sales for Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota.

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