Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Insurance Coverage For IVF - Why It's So Hard to Find

Your employer's health insurance plan does not cover IVF. You are on a quest to find individual coverage to help pay for your In Vitro Fertilization treatments. You find lots of search results promising that elusive lead; to a real website offering real health insurance coverage for IVF. But you keep coming up empty, even though you keep coming across plenty of ads and links hinting at an answer. What's going on? To find the answer, and figure out what real options really exist you must FOLLOW THE MONEY.

It pays to think like an average consumer, an employer, and an insurance company when searching for that elusive answer: is there any insurance company that will provide coverage for my infertility treatments? Does your employer's insurance plan not provide IVF coverage? Have you found it impossible to find individual insurance plans to cover any portion of your infertility and/or IVF costs? Follow the money, and you will understand why you can't find coverage, why there are so many blind alleys, and what real options really exist.

Why Does Group Health Insurance Rarely Cover In Vitro

Most group health insurance plans rarely cover IVF treatments - unless they are compelled to by state mandate. The reason is simple: most employees don't need infertility treatments, but they do want to pay the lowest insurance premiums possible. Plans without infertilty coverage cost less than those that do. Health care costs are skyrocketing, and many businesses and their employees can barely afford the premiums for plans without infertiliity coverage. When given the option, most will choose a plan without IVF coverage.

That choice is made unless your state mandates that people buy health insurance with infertility and/or IVF coverage. In other words, you can get affordable coverage if your state forces your co-workers to underwrite the cost of your IVF treatments. This is the case in fifteen states. But even these laws contain loopholes which many employers elect to use; because they want to keep costs low.

Why Individual Health Plans Rarely Cover IVF

Individual plans rarely cover infertility and In Vitro Fertilization because they are subject to the same market forces noted above. Most people do not need infertility coverage, but they are looking for the most affordable plan.

The only people likely to buy an individual plan with fertility coverage are couples who need it. The insurance carrier wants to make a profit and charges accordingly. The costs are so high that nobody buys it.

Why So Many Blind Alleys?

You type "Health Insurance for IVF" into your search engine and lots of listings pop up. When you click on the link, you find an informational site with lots of ads promising coverage. You click on the ads, and complete a web form for insurance coverage. An agent contacts you, but when you explain that you are looking for IVF coverage, they can't help. Sound familiar?

Internet marketers know what you are looking for. Insurance agents want to make a sale, and pay internet marketers for leads; not always knowing you want coverage for IVF. So the agents pay for leads they can't fulfill, and you get frustrated by a blind alley. Only the marketer comes out ahead.

What Options Really Exist

Sorry but there are not many programs that will cover your direct IVF costs. There are rebate programs that will refund a portion of your costs if you fail to conceive and/or deliver. You can deduct a portion of your costs on your taxes, or use your flexible spending account at work for larger savings.

You can also use supplemental health insurance. Your benefit for normal delivery may greatly exceed the premium you pay. Use the surplus to offset your IVF costs. You also are protected in case of complications, and multiple births. You do need to purchase coverage before getting pregnant.

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