Eleven percent of women deal with infertility in one way or another during their lifetime. Add same-sex couples to that figure, and we find that there’s a significant number of individuals who can’t have the family they yearn for.
And yet, most couples find it hard — impossible even — to get the help they need when they really need it.
The resources that are available to couples who are looking to grow their family often depends on what state you live in.
Let’s take a look at the best and worst states for couples struggling with fertility.
Each state was graded based on whether they offer insurance coverage for IVF, how many fertility specialists per capita, and the prevalence of infertility support groups.
Congratulations! The following states are considered fertility-friendly:
These states offer an adequate number of fertility specialists, provide support groups, and have or are working on fertility-friendly legislation that would require insurers to cover more treatment options.
These few states are on the front lines of making fertility options a priority to their citizens.
If you live in these states, you may consider moving. (Joking — sort of.) Here are the states where finding proper support will be very difficult.
These states have little or no legislation on the books to support families in need of fertility treatments and have very few fertility specialists available to their citizens.
What to Look For
In a perfect world, infertility specialists would be available to any couple anywhere, and insurance would be required to cover all costs.
Unfortunately, that’s far from reality. In many states, the number of fertility specialists is minimal compared to the number of women who have infertility, and insurance rarely covers the costs of fertility treatments.
Finding a Specialist
Finding a qualified specialist can be especially tricky in less populated communities. For example, Fargo, North Dakota, which serves North Dakota and Northwestern Minnesota, only has three infertility specialists.
These three doctors located in Fargo are doctors who attended medical school out of state, then came home to work in their own community to fulfill a need.
This means that many couples will need to travel to find specialists to treat them. The time and expense that comes with going to and from specialists is an added stress on these couples.
Some insurance plans will cover initial tests, but medication and advanced procedures are usually paid for out of pocket.
IVF is rarely covered. And some insurance companies won’t cover anything related to infertility.
Finding good insurance coverage can be tricky. To insurance companies, infertility isn’t a priority because it’s considered an elective and non-life-threatening.
The monetary cost associated with infertility treatments is a huge burden for most families. Often the cost of standard procedures and medications makes having a family out of reach. They simply have to stop pursuing the dream of having a family because they can’t afford it.
The Bottom Line
The truth is, there are many gaps for couples struggling with infertility. Access to healthcare can be hard to find, and it’s incredibly costly when insurance doesn’t cover what they need. If we can work together, we can help couples get the families they desire.
To make fertility treatments available, we will need help from all groups involved.
The Medical Community
Our hope is for health care providers to find communities where infertility specialists are scarce and start there.
Medical providers need to consider the needs of all communities when they’re deciding where to start their practice.
Fertility treatments should not be considered elective. Insurance companies need to cover all costs associated with diagnosis, medications, and treatment.
Unfortunately, there is still a divide among politicians about the ethical side of specific fertility treatments.
Here is a list of states where their legislatures have a history of trying to pass laws that negatively impact infertility treatments:
If you live in any of these states, then get involved! Find out what’s being said about fertility treatments and insurance coverage in your state and contact those involved.
We can only see change when we demand it.
Let’s Work Together
If you’re looking for answers, then don’t hesitate to contact us. We get it. We see couples from all around the United States who are broken-hearted and frustrated. We are here to assist any couple who wants to build their family. So let’s get started on your family today!