It’s spring and in the animal kingdom that means the pattering of paws, wings and feathers. For people, however, the fertility journey can often be fraught with worry, failure, and expense.
Assisted reproduction has so far remained firmly in the realm of those who could afford the enormously expensive IVF cycles – often more than 5,000 euros per attempt, with no certainty of the outcome.
The Health (Assisted Reproduction) Bill aims to change that, according to Health Secretary Stephen Donnelly, who tweeted that it is “a critical and historic piece of legislation”. It will establish a regulatory framework for AHR and pave the way for publicly funded treatments like IVF.”
It will also legalize surrogacy in Ireland. He will even find cross-party support from new Labor leader Ivana Bacik, who has long campaigned on the issue.
It has introduced a separate law – the Working Time Organization Act – to provide for workers who need time off work for IVF treatment.
“We are now working with the government to find a time to bring it forward so further progress can be made,” she said. “We can’t commit to a timeline just yet, but we know how badly this legislation is needed.”
One in five will have difficulty conceiving. Once a woman turns 35, her fertility plummets, and even with treatments like IVF, only a quarter of those over 40 will successfully give birth.
To put it in context, according to the SIMS Clinic, a couple in their early 30s trying to conceive naturally (without fertility issues) would have about a 20-25 percent chance of conceiving each month.
For alternative support, such as surrogacy, the war in Ukraine effectively ended the most likely route to that option. The United States is another option, but far more complex from a legal perspective.
It has been a full 15 years since the commission to inquire into the reported sector was set up and the law is five years in the making. It reflects the complex medical, ethical and financial issues involved.
The rights of children born through donor conception or surrogacy are “of paramount importance” according to the minister and issues such as donor disclosure, payment for services or expenses and what will be allowed are all being discussed and at one legal and public basis.
It will still be some time before it is adopted, so what exactly is it about at the moment?
An IVF cycle costs €4,500 at Merrion Fertility, a non-profit organization founded in 1998 by Prof. Mary Wingfield, the clinical director. An ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection) round costs €4,900, and couples can expect additional costs for consultations (€160), embryo freezing (€500 plus €300 annually) and medication.
At SIMS, which has two clinics in Dublin and one in Cork, IVF costs €4,600, ICSI €4,920 and egg freezing for women who want to extend their fertility costs around €3,000.
The Waterstone Clinic in Cork charges €5,000 for an IVF package including consultations and scans. A “shared motherhood” treatment for same-sex couples costs €6,500, with one partner undergoing egg retrieval and the other undergoing embryo transfer. For oncology patients, it performs free sperm freezing. Donor sperm costs from €800 per straw.
Many people take the DIY route via Cryos International, a Denmark-based sperm donor clinic. You can select criteria such as ethnicity, eye color, education. You can see the donor’s baby photo and even see their handwriting or hear their voice. They are given a pedigree and they are screened for known diseases.
One donor, ‘Savvas’, describes himself as polite, stubborn, loving and empathetic and is working towards a Masters in Law. He is Greek and wears corrective lenses. He stocks 24 “straws” and it will cost you €1,600 plus VAT for the high screened version.
Private health insurers in Ireland (VHI, Laya and Irish Life Health) only pay premiums for certain eligible fertility treatments, says Totalhealthcover.ie’s Dermot Goode. “The payable benefits may only be available on certain plans – for example mid-range plans and up – and are typically ‘lifetime’ benefits, meaning that the premium is payable a maximum of twice and the benefit may be capped at €1,000 per treatment. ” he says.
“There is usually a separate benefit of around €1,000 for egg freezing or up to €150 for sperm freezing at a designated clinic.
“There is a waiting period of 12 months, similar to maternity benefit.
“Due to the high cost of this treatment, we advise all members to contact their insurer as soon as possible to find out exactly what benefits are available to you and what the eligibility criteria are.”
All treatments, medications or interventions that are not covered by health insurance can be claimed for tax purposes with 20 items.
fertility and health insurance
What the three health insurers offer varies by company and plan type (essentially, and unsurprisingly, the better the policy, the better the benefits offered).
In all cases, for obvious reasons, there is a waiting period before you are entitled to any benefits.
Early membership is your best way to qualify. No company pays more than one cost contribution.
If you have fertility problems and are undergoing treatment, call your insurer and ask what’s available in your policy.
It can include a range of additional services such as: B. Consultations with nutritionists, acupuncturists and counselors.
Laya Healthcare: Contributions to intrauterine insemination (IUI), ICSI, IVF; holistic treatment contribution including nutritional advice, acupuncture, foot reflexology; general practitioner contribution; GP live webcam; health/fitness plan with personal health coach; 24/7 supports psychological well-being.
Irish Life Health: health screening including fertility assessment; holistic therapies (acupuncture, ditician); egg count test. Contribution to ICSI, IVF, IUI; digital doctor and family doctor visit fee.
VHI: contribution to fertility testing; advisory aids; Advantages over two cycles IVF, ICSI, IUI; holistic therapies; contribution to family doctor visit; Transfer benefit for frozen embryos; Pre-implantation genetic testing.
https://www.independent.ie/business/personal-finance/fertility-treatments-are-a-costly-option-but-there-are-ways-to-cut-the-bills-41512409.html Fertility treatments are a costly option, but there are ways to lower the bills