Even When IVF Is Covered by Insurance, High Bills and Hassles Abound

by | May 4, 2022 | Health

After years of trying to have a baby without success, Brenna Kaminski and her husband, Joshua Pritt, decided to try in vitro fertilization.

Only 15 states require insurance to cover fertility treatments, and Florida, where Kaminski and Pritt live, isn’t one of them. Still, the couple’s insurance, from Pritt’s job at an energy company, did — putting them among the fortunate minority of Americans whose insurance plan covers the pricey fertility procedure. Kaminski and Pritt gamed out what their share of the cost would be for one round of IVF: $2,700, the out-of-pocket maximum under their policy.

Instead, after many twists and turns with two specialty practices, they paid more than $15,000 for two rounds of IVF, including all medicines. And, as is true for the majority of the procedures nationally (success rates vary from 12% to 49% depending on a patient’s age), neither round resulted in a viable pregnancy. “This whole thing has been a nightmare,” said Kaminski, 37, who does freelance marketing and writing. “The stress has been unbelievable.”

About 1 in 5 women have trouble getting pregnant, and IVF has become a common path to parenthood for many. But even as demand grows, insurance coverage remains limited. About 27% of companies with 500 or more employees covered IVF in 2020, up from about 24% in 2015, according to Mercer, a consulting firm.

“Infertility is a disease and should be treated as such, and insurance coverage should reflect that,” said Dr. Kara Goldman, associate professor of obstetrics an …

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