On May 12, 2011, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand introduced the first-ever legislation that, if passed, would dramatically improve access to infertility medical treatment by way of tax credits. The Family Act of 2011 fills a void in current political legislation that aims to directly support the growth of families through the course of in vitro fertilization.
In the United States today, the cost of in vitro fertilization starts at around $12,400 per cycle. Most often, it takes multiple cycles of IVF in order for it to prove to be effective and still, at the end of your treatment, there is no guarantee that you will come out with the success you had hoped for.
Infertility is recognized by the World Health Organization as a legitimate disease and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has publicly stated that infertility is an “emerging public health priority.” Regardless, it is extremely rare to find IVF, as well as any other assisted reproductive technology services, listed on insurance policies. In fact, only 15 states have passed laws to date that require insurance companies to offer some level of treatment for infertility. That isn’t to say that you will find IVF listed as a covered course of treatment within all 15 of these states, but you will find some form of treatment that will be made available to infertile couples.
Considering that an extremely limited group of people are likely to ever find in vitro fertilization, or most other services like it, listed as a covered course of treatment on their insurance policies, the only other option those seeking this procedure is to pay for it out of pocket. This does not look too great for, well, most people who are diagnosed with infertility. This is especially true since while we have seen a subtle rise in our national economy, we are still very much dealing with the aftermath of a historic financial crisis.
There are obvious considerable cost barriers that infertile couples are faced with. This bill would help to alleviate some of this well-known struggle by making tax credits available to taxpayers who earn an adjusted gross income of less than $182,500. This bill would also make these tax credits unavailable for those who earn $222,520 or more per year.
While the introduction of this bill is light at the end of the tunnel for many who hope to undergo fertility treatments but cannot afford to do so, spreading the word about this bill also raises awareness about the importance of egg donation.
We don’t hear about the option for healthy women to donate their eggs very often. The term “in vitro fertilization” has quickly become quite common and has reached the point where most everyone knows what it is and how it is done, but we usually have a very one-sided thought process when it comes to the procedure. We think about the women undergoing IVF, but not about if she will use donor eggs or who they come from.
In most cases, there is a six to nine month matching wait associated with IVF when a woman is using eggs that are donated. This is merely more time that women undergoing IVF must wait in order to attempt to conceive, not even counting the amount of time one cycle takes to complete. This can become an understandably hard time. The key to more women wanting to donate their eggs is letting them know that it is an option and what qualifies them in order to start the process.
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