(WAFB) - Two couples facing medical and financial roadblocks in having a baby will receive grants for a free cycle of in vitro fertilization (IVF) through a program called Gift of Hope.
Only couples who earn less than $100,000 per year, have no insurance coverage for infertility, and require IVF to conceive are eligible to apply. Applications are open to couples in Louisiana and are available for download here. The deadline to apply is May 11.
While one in eight American couple struggle with infertility every year, only a quarter of health insurance policies offer coverage for infertility treatment. Louisiana law prohibits the exclusion of coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of a correctable medical condition solely because the condition results in infertility, however, the law does not require insurers to cover fertility drugs, IVF, or other fertility treatments, leaving the vast majority of infertility cases not covered by insurance.
"We started the program as a way to help Louisiana couples undergo IVF who could not otherwise afford it. So many couples we see with difficulties conceiving need this procedure to build their families. But because the cost is so high and very few insurance policies cover it, low-income earning couples often have to put off building their families. We feel strongly that couples should have the chance to build their families, no matter their financial limitations or lack of infertility insurance coverage," said Dr. John Storment, medical director at Fertility Answers.
Since 2006, there have been 14 Louisiana couples chosen for the Gift of Hope program, eight of which conceived. Five babies have been born as a result. The value of donated services as part of Gift of Hope's IVF treatment cycle is an estimated $10,000 to $15,000.
For more information about the Gift of Hope program, visit www.fertilityanswers.com.