• Nurses Support Insurance Coverage for Infertility Treatment

      IVFConnections applauds the recent position statement published by AWHONN (Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses) in support of insurance coverage for infertility treatment.

      The AWHONN position statement, published in the most recent issue of the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic and Neonatal Nursing, reads:

      The Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) supports the inclusion of all non-experimental infertility treatments as a covered health insurance benefit in public and private plans. Infertility is a disease of the reproductive system, and treatment should not be considered an elective therapy or procedure. Women who require gonadotoxic therapies to treat medical conditions such as cancer should be offered the option to cryopreserve embryos through in vitro fertilization or eggs through ovulation induction and egg retrieval.

      The following facts are included in the article in support of AWHONN's position:

      • Approximately 12% of women of reproductive age in the United States have received some level of infertility services
      • [Most women require minimal diagnosis or treatment, with] only 3% of women seeking treatment for infertility required more sophisticated treatment such as in vitro fertilization (IVF)
      • In states with mandated infertility insurance coverage, the rate of utilization for infertility treatments is substantially higher than the U.S. average
      • The rate of multiple births is lower in states with [insurance] coverage
      • Advances in cancer therapies and high survival rates associated with these treatments have resulted in the need for women to have the option to preserve fertility through embryo or oocyte preservation

      AWHONN's support for insurance coverage for IVF only makes sense, given their conclusion that "nurses play integral roles in education, coordination of care, and research in settings where women and men experiencing infertility seek care."

      Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic and Neonatal Nursing
      Volume 43, Issue 2, pages 264265, March/April 2014
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