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The Need Of The Hour : Fertility Insurance

Infertility, IVF Cost
The Need Of The Hour : Fertility Insurance

Have you ever wondered if insurance covers include infertility treatments and procedures? Did you know that 10-14% of the Indian population suffers from Infertility? It is unfortunate to see the current scenario where most insurance plans in India do not cover Infertility and one of the major reasons for this is the unwillingness of people willing to disclose their history regarding fertility because of the large scale taboo. Every year in India more than 65000 couples go through IVF yet despite this rise, there is absolutely no insurance cover given for such treatments. The need of the hour is to include fertility treatment in insurance covers and to do away with all taboos.


The Present Scenario- Why Is Fertility Treatment Not included In Insurance Plans 

At present, Fertility treatment is not included in insurance plans. India, a country with rather conservative values often tends to see infertility as something shameful. Fertility is looked upon as something that brings misfortune and hence there is a large-scale taboo surrounding it. No one wishes to openly talk about infertility or their struggles and this has been a major hindrance. Currently, both public and private insurers do not provide cover for infertility. 


Upon talking to experts in the fields of insurance and major providers, the reason for not covering Fertility is that insurance can cover only major illnesses that require hospitalization. At present, only maternity costs are covered under insurance plans which is in itself a recent development. The problem in India can be understood as a Threefold issue:

  1. Insurance plans already include a wide variety of illnesses including major diseases and hospitalization. Due to this, including Infertility treatments will become too large a burden to incur.
  2. There are a large scale stigma and Taboo regarding infertility and talks concerning it. Due to the lack of unwillingness of couples to disclose their issues, insurance providers are not aware of the full depth of the current scenario and its vast prevalence.
  3. Fertility treatments are very expensive. Including it in an insurance plan will make insurance covers more expensive for the ordinary person.


Read More:- How To Manage IVF Cost In India?


Do none of the companies cover fertility?

At present, there are very few insurance schemes that provide for infertility. HDFC Bank does not cover infertility in their health insurance however, they offer personal loan which can be used to cover treatments for infertility. Additionally, One Health by Magma  HDI insurance  offer four plans that offer care and support for IVF treatments and follow up health check-up. Additionally, Bharatiya Mahila Bank and New India Insurance offer hospitalization cost cover ups and other infertility treatments for women above the age of 22.


Why Do We Need An Insurance That Cover Infertility?


As we have already discussed, Infertility is on the rise. With more cases by the day and changing circumstances, more couples are suffering from infertility. Keeping in mind the current scenario, Fertility insurance is the need of the hour. Fertility insurance should be incorporated into ordinary plans for several reasons.

  • Fertility treatments are very expensive. Ordinary treatments including IVF and IUI can range between  Rs 1 to Rs 2.5 lakhs which might not be very affordable for ordinary middle-class people. It is important to ensure coverage to help couples across the country seek treatment at affordable prices.
  • Even though over 10% of the population suffers from infertility, only about 1% of them opt for any sort of treatment.
  • Insurance coverage of infertility treatments will also help improve the transparency and help couples seek easy access to treatments.
  • Inclusion of infertility treatment plans can help remove the stigma and break the taboo surrounding infertility in the country. The most important part about including infertility treatments within insurance covers is that it will help break the prevailing stigma. “By including procedures such as IVF and IUI, a very strong message is sent across that is- Infertility is very common, it is ordinary and curable”. An insurance cover will help send across a very strong message to couples that there are several options for couples suffering from infertility that there is nothing to be ashamed of and that infertility is perfectly normal. 
  • Fertility insurance is at present provided in certain countries such as Belgium, Denmark, and so on have included costs of Infertility treatment within their insurance covers. India needs to strive towards providing accessible and affordable treatments for infertility to all couples. This can also help India emerge as a country with leading healthcare facilities.


An Inclusive Cover- A Dream Or Reality?

Although there is a lot to consider with regards to fertility insurance, it is indeed the Need of the hour. To provide access to couples, we ought to make insurance covers more inclusive. A small step could be partial payment of treatments. This could be the payment of medication costs in IVF or IUI procedures and also conducting relevant tests. Moving ahead, complete coverage could be a very viable option. Separate plans for fertility can be devised at lower costs which will not only help protect several couples but also spread awareness and send a strong message.” 


Keeping in mind the nature and extent of infertility within the country, fertility insurance is the need of the hour. It will help spread awareness and also tackle the issue of the taboo surrounding infertility. We need fertility insurance and we need it now. To improve the present condition and to help couples access affordable infertility treatments, Fertility insurance is imperative.


Do you believe that insurance should include infertility?  Share your stories in the comments section and let us know your thoughts about insurance coverage for fertility treatments.

Pic credit : freepik.com

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