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Does Insurance Cover Fertility Treatments?
For Everyone

Does Insurance Cover Fertility Treatments?

Fertility treatments are a vital resource for many individuals and couples who face challenges in conceiving. These treatments can be incredibly effective, but they often come with substantial financial burdens. Understanding the landscape of insurance coverage for fertility treatments is crucial for anyone considering these options. This comprehensive guide will explore the types of fertility treatments, general insurance coverage policies, state-specific mandates, employer-sponsored plans, steps to determine your coverage, and alternative financing options, with detailed information to help navigate this complex area.

What Are Fertility Treatments?

Fertility treatments encompass a wide range of medical interventions aimed at aiding conception. The primary treatments include:

  • In Vitro Fertilization (IVF): A process where eggs are fertilized by sperm outside the body, and the resulting embryos are implanted in the uterus. This procedure involves several stages, including ovarian stimulation, egg retrieval, fertilization, embryo culture, and embryo transfer. The average cost of a single IVF cycle ranges from $12,000 to $17,000, not including medication, which can add an additional $3,000 to $5,000​ (New Hope Fertility Center)​​ (IVF Specialists | In Vitro Fertilization)​.
  • Intrauterine Insemination (IUI): A procedure where sperm is placed directly into the uterus around the time of ovulation to facilitate fertilization. This treatment typically costs between $300 and $1,000 per cycle​ (Policygenius)​.
  • Fertility Medications: Drugs used to stimulate ovulation or improve sperm quality. These medications can be oral or injectable, with costs ranging from $50 for oral medications to $5,000 for injectable hormones​ (New Hope Fertility Center)​.
  • Surgical Interventions: Procedures to correct anatomical issues that may impede fertility, such as removing fibroids or repairing blocked fallopian tubes. The cost of these surgeries can vary widely based on the complexity and the specific procedure involved​ (Policygenius)​.

General Insurance Coverage for Fertility Treatments

Insurance coverage for fertility treatments varies significantly across different plans and providers. Historically, many insurance companies have categorized infertility treatments as elective, leading to minimal or no coverage. However, advocacy efforts and changing regulations have led to gradual improvements in coverage.

Coverage Types:

  • No Coverage: Some insurance plans do not cover any fertility treatments, considering them elective.
  • Partial Coverage: Some plans cover diagnostic procedures but not the actual treatment. For example, they might pay for tests to determine the cause of infertility but not for IVF or IUI​ (Policygenius)​.
  • Comprehensive Coverage: A few insurance plans cover both diagnostics and treatments, including multiple cycles of IVF and medication​ (New Hope Fertility Center)​.

Factors Influencing Coverage:

  • Insurance Provider: Different insurers have varying policies on fertility treatment coverage.
  • Employer-Sponsored Plans: Large companies, particularly in industries like technology and finance, often provide more comprehensive fertility benefits.
  • State Mandates: State laws significantly impact the extent of coverage, with some states requiring insurers to provide specific fertility benefits.

State-Specific Mandates

Currently, 20 states in the U.S. have enacted laws mandating insurance coverage for some fertility treatments. These mandates vary widely in scope and detail:

  • Illinois: Requires coverage for a range of infertility treatments, including IVF, artificial insemination, and fertility preservation services before medical treatments that may cause infertility​ (healthinsurance.org)​.
  • Massachusetts: Mandates coverage for infertility diagnosis and treatments like IVF, GIFT (Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer), and ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection). Insurers must cover at least three IVF cycles per live birth attempt​ (New Hope Fertility Center)​.
  • New York: Requires insurance plans to cover three cycles of IVF for large group policies and mandates fertility preservation services before medical treatments that might cause infertility​ (Policygenius)​.

Employer-Sponsored Insurance Plans

Employer-sponsored insurance plans can play a crucial role in fertility treatment coverage. Companies in competitive industries, such as technology and finance, often offer extensive fertility benefits to attract and retain employees. For example:

  • Google: Provides coverage for multiple IVF cycles and other fertility treatments as part of its comprehensive health benefits​ (Policygenius)​.
  • Facebook: Offers generous fertility benefits, including coverage for egg freezing and IVF​ (Policygenius)​.
  • Starbucks: Known for its inclusive health benefits, Starbucks provides substantial coverage for fertility treatments, making it accessible even to part-time employees​ (New Hope Fertility Center)​.

Steps to Determine Your Insurance Coverage

Understanding your specific insurance coverage for fertility treatments involves several steps:

  1. Review Your Policy: Start by thoroughly reviewing your insurance policy documents. Look for sections on infertility, reproductive health, and specific treatments like IVF and IUI.
  2. Contact Your Insurer: Call your insurance provider directly to clarify coverage details. Ask specific questions about covered treatments, medications, pre-authorization requirements, and any applicable limits.
  3. Consult HR: If you have employer-sponsored insurance, speak with your HR department for detailed information. They can explain the benefits and help you navigate the process of accessing coverage.
  4. Check State Laws: Research the laws in your state regarding fertility treatment coverage. This can help you understand the baseline coverage your insurer is required to provide.

Alternative Financing Options

If your insurance does not cover fertility treatments or only covers a portion, there are alternative financing options available:

  1. Grants and Scholarships: Various non-profit organizations offer financial assistance for fertility treatments. Examples include:some text
    • Baby Quest Foundation: Provides grants to individuals and couples for fertility treatments​ (Policygenius)​.
    • INCIID (International Council on Infertility Information Dissemination): Offers scholarships for IVF treatments​ (Policygenius)​.
  2. Medical Loans: Some financial institutions offer loans specifically designed for medical treatments, including fertility procedures. These loans often come with lower interest rates and more favorable terms than traditional personal loans​ (New Hope Fertility Center)​.
  3. IVF Refund Programs: Certain fertility clinics offer refund programs, where patients pay a set fee upfront for multiple IVF cycles. If the treatment is unsuccessful, they receive a partial or full refund. These programs can provide financial security and predictability​ (New Hope Fertility Center)​.


Navigating insurance coverage for fertility treatments can be complex and challenging. However, by understanding your options and being proactive, you can better manage the financial aspects of fertility treatments.

Through state mandates, employer-sponsored plans, and alternative financing options, there are ways to pursue fertility treatments without bearing the full financial burden. Always consult with your insurance provider and fertility specialist to explore all available resources.

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About the Author

Harry Gatlin

Harry is passionate about the power of language to make complex systems like health insurance simpler and fairer. He received his BA in English from Williams College and his MFA in Creative Writing from The University of Alabama. In his spare time, he is writing a book of short stories called You Must Relax.