India's Insurance Sector Yet To Cover IVF Treatments

According to the Indian Society of Assisted Reproduction, India has up to 27.5 million infertile people, both men and women

The prospect of having a baby can be thrilling, mind-boggling, and also a bit terrifying. But these days, infertility cases are rising to concern around the world.

In India, the discussion of infertility as a condition that affects both men and women has only recently gained traction. Infertility has become a personal and societal health concern in India due to a double-digit increase. According to the Indian Society of Assisted Reproduction, India has up to 27.5 million infertile people, both men and women.

With the problem of infertility comes many medical ways of having a child like surrogacy, in vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment, etc. It becomes necessary for women to have maternity coverage with their pregnancy.

Maternity insurance is intended to cover the costs associated with a baby's development and birth, as well as post-natal care for both mother and child. Prenatal care includes doctor visits, ultrasounds, and blood tests. It also covers costs associated with giving birth, from normal delivery to medically necessary C-sections, such as hospitalisation, doctor's fees, and newborn care for up to the first 90 days of the baby's life, as well as vaccinations.

There are various types of maternity cover that provide many benefits to the mother and the child, but rather than that, IVF treatments are yet to be included in the maternity covers. Many developed countries in the world are covering all fertility treatments under insurance. This helps couples in seeking timely investigation and treatment. However, India still lacks in including IVF in insurance.

Dr Kshama Sharma, AVP - Of customer Success, Pazcare said, "Currently, the majority of health insurance plans do not cover infertility treatments. Infertility treatment comes up as a boon for those who face difficulty in conceiving naturally. Infertile couples have many treatment options such as in vitro fertilisation - IVF treatment."

"Overall treatment cost varies from Rs 2 lakh to 2.5 lakh. Since it's very expensive, during the time of need, most people are compelled to stay away from fertility treatments. Some people take debt for it and go through a lot of psychological and emotional trauma. Medical experts can take care of physical and medical risks however insurance should include fertility treatments in health insurance to reduce the financial burden on people seeking medical help. It is the need of the hour in India to cover infertility treatments and we strongly recommend it," she said.

Why IVF Treatments To Be Included In Maternity Cover?

The majority of couples are concerned about financial security before starting a family. Today, the costs of maternity, baby care, and parenting are steadily rising, necessitating careful planning, particularly for salaried individuals.

People undergoing fertility treatment are under enormous emotional, physical, and financial stress that they might not want to tell their family, friends or colleagues. In such a case, a maternity cover provides much support to them. If the financial part is sorted by insurance, half of the couple's pain will go away.

Dr Sharma said, "Anyone who’s been through the experience of infertility then IVF will tell you it’s an emotional roller-coaster of anxiety, waiting, and unpleasant medical treatment that involves lots of hormone treatment. It makes you appreciate what a miracle conception is. The satisfaction of IVF mothers increases as the pregnancy progresses. There is growing hope that they will finally have a baby, which increases their purpose in life."

Future Possibilities

With the development and changing policies of all the sectors of India, the insurance sector might include IVF treatments also in maternity or health insurance coverage in future.

"There is a lot of day-to-day development that happens in the insurance sector and all insurers evolve and re-underwrite the policy when the need arises. Every insurer also put in measures for periodical review of the underwriting policy in tune with the changes affecting the medical field and health insurance business. Currently, maternity insurance plans include delivery and labour expenses, C-section delivery, in-patient hospitalisation expenses, pre or post-natal care expenses, and newborn baby expenses," said Dr Sharma.

All insurers should think about including vaccination expenses, pregnancy complications, stem cell preservation, infertility investigations, infertility treatments, medical tests and consultation before delivery, and regular check-ups during pregnancy, she said.

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In Vitro Fertilisation maternity cover insurance


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