The US senate is currently considering a new bill which would provide wounded veterans with expanded access to infertility solutions, such as IVF.
Currently, the Department of Veterans Affairs covers some infertility services including diagnostic testing and intrauterine insemination. However, the most effective and advanced form of infertility treatment, in vitro fertilization (IVF), is not a covered benefit which leaves many wounded veterans without the possibility of having children.
The bill’s sponsor, Washington state Democrat Sen. Patty Murray estimates that since 2003 there have been nearly 2,000 veterans who have suffered pelvic injuries which may impact their ability to conceive a child. For many of these veterans, IVF may be the only treatment option.
However, IVF is one of the most expensive types of infertility treatment. It averages approximately $12,000 per cycle, although in places like New York this cost can skyrocket up to more than $20,000. IVF success rates are approximately 30% per cycle, meaning several cycles may be required in order for a woman to become pregnant.
Therefore, without medical coverage from the VA, in vitro fertilization is simply not an option for many wounded veterans.
“Because they served our country, they now can’t have a family, which is part of their dream,” said Murray. “I think we now have a responsibility to not take that dream away.”
Legislation was recently passed allowing active-duty military personal and/or their spouses to be covered for IVF treatments for up to 3 cycles. Murry hopes that now with this new bill these same benefits for infertility solutions will be extended to veterans as well.