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Insurance Coverage For Infertility: More Births, Fewer Health Disparities

ASRM,  Oct 25, 2012

October 25, 2012

Researchers presenting at the 2012 meeting of the American Society for Reproductive medicine say health insurance coverage for fertility treatment leads to decreased racial disparities in those seeking treatment and overall increased births.

Two studies examining insurance coverage were reviewed. The first study compared outcomes of in vitro fertilization (IVF) patients with and without insurance coverage for fertility treatment. Medical and financial history was reviewed for over 1,000 patients. Those with coverage sought out IVF treatment sooner and had a greater number of successful pregnancies and births than those who did not have coverage.

The relationship between insurance coverage, race, and treatment outcomes were examined in a second study. For these 1,000 patients, researchers found that insurance coverage meant greater access to infertility treatments. African American women with insurance coverage, an otherwise disparate population, were able to pursue treatment more readily and achieved pregnancy success rates comparable to women of other races.

These findings support the notion that those with infertility coverage, like medical coverage for any other condition, will pursue treatment sooner and more often. Glenn Schattman, M.D., President of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) declares: “It is time that health insurance companies end their discrimination against the infertile”. Insurance coverage for infertility treatment would provide equal opportunity to pursue treatment within the infertile community.

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