Up until last Friday, the state of women's health care under President Donald Trump was entirely unknown. That is, until Trump and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan failed to deliver on securing votes for the Republican's health care reform bill, the American Health Care Act, and decided to "kill" the bill before it could be voted on. It's a good thing that the AHCA never got to see the light of day, because a new study has found that insurance coverage and IVF success could be linked — which means that we need to keep fighting for insurance for everyone, something the AHCA would have prevented.
According to projections made by the Congressional Budget Office earlier in the month, the AHCA would have left a projected 24 million people without insurance. This was an alarming number and could have possibly contributed to the bill's defeat. With Ryan and the GOP scrapping the AHCA vote, it was a huge turning point for everyone else — especially those who had finally been able to find coverage through health care exchanges under Obamacare.
All of this is also particularly fantastic news for women who are trying to get pregnant through in-vitro fertilization, especially considering the results of a new study, which found a positive correlation between women who had health insurance and the success of IVF treatments.
The study, published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, found that women who had undergone IVF procedures covered by insurance had a better success rate at conceiving than those who did not have the procedure covered. Unfortunately, as Fit Pregnancy pointed out, not many people have control over this factor.
Only some insurance providers cover infertility treatments and only 15 states require insurance companies to cover or offer coverage for infertility diagnosis and treatment, according to the National Conference of State Legislators. Those 15 states — Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas, and West Virginia — allow for insured women to potentially see greater results from their IVF treatments.
However, the Affordable Care Act, in its current state, does not require coverage for infertility treatments. If anything, the limited number of states that require infertility coverage — along with the positive correlation of IVF success rates — prove that healthcare needs to be prioritized, at both the state and federal level.
IVF treatments can be costly, even with the help of insurance. According to Reuters, the study's authors found that IVF treatments can cost up to $17,000, which can place a strain on couples, making them both financially exhausted and physically exhausted from trying to have a baby. But, the study found that those who had insurance were willing to try again, even if the procedure failed, due to alleviated costs from insurance providers. This financial help, overall, has arguably led to the success of IVF treatments.
Couples deserve the right to be able to choose their family plan and how they wish to conceive — whether they're unable to conceive on their own or plan to start a family at a later time where medical assistance is needed. As such, health care coverage should be a priority for all, and studies like this one prove why.