Photo Credit: Trying to Get Pregnant? Where You Live Could Make a Difference
Infertility treatments like in vitro fertilization (IVF) are expensive. Very expensive. But in some states, insurance companies are required to cover the cost, making them fertility friendly. The National Infertility Association, also known as RESOLVE, has just put together a "Fertility Scorecard." Released at the start of National Infertility Awareness Week, the scorecard ranks all 50 states and the District of Columbia to show how friendly -- or unfriendly -- each state is toward families struggling with infertility.
RESOLVE gave each state an A-F grade based on things like how many accredited infertility clinics there are, access to support groups and whether a state requires insurance companies to cover infertility treatments. Massachusetts was ranked the number one fertility-friendly state, partially because it requires insurance companies that provide pregnancy-related benefits to cover diagnosis and treatment of infertility, including IVF.
On the other end of the spectrum, Georgia was ranked the worst because it has few resources and doesn’t have a law requiring insurance companies to cover fertility treatments. See how your state ranks by clicking on the National Fertility Association’s map.
If you’re struggling with infertility, these tips and resources can help:
Do your homework: Research the legislation and insurance mandates in your state -- it could impact the cost and type of treatment you get. Talk to your insurance company to determine the extent of your fertility benefits (they are required to give you that information). Ask for written confirmation of your benefits to protect yourself from fees that aren't covered by your insurance plan.
Ask for coverage at work: Does your employer offer insurance that covers infertility treatments? If not, ask about it! Get more information and a template letter that you can use to ask your human resources department about covering infertility treatments.
Be realistic about money: Can you afford it? Research the costs of infertility treatments, like intrauterine insemination (IUI), IVF, embryo transfer and sperm or egg donation so you can determine how you will pay for it.
Get financial help: If you can't afford treatment, ask your fertility clinic if they offer a payment plan or even a refund program if the treatment doesn’t work. You can also apply for an infertility grant or scholarship.
For more information, go to RESOLVE.org and FertilityLifeLines.com.