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Aug 02 2009

IVF Treatment for Singles in Australia

IVF Treatment for singles in Australia has hit the news headlines in August 2009.  The question is:

Should IVF treatment be available for unmarried women in Australia ?

Please use the poll in the right column to give your answer.

The answer, in my opinion, is:

  • Only if they are paying the full cost themselves.

Most items in the IVF treatment schemes have a Medicare rebate, which means that Medicare will pay part of the cost of your treatment cycle.

In addition, the Medicare Safety Net provides an additional refund of up to 80% of any further out-of-pocket-costs for out-of-hospital services for items billed with a Medicare item number.

Example of costs:

  1. On one forum that I have read, I saw that one family had three procedures before it worked, with their total cost being about $2,000 after all rebates, saving themselves $7,000 from the gross cost of about $9,000. This equates to $2,333 per procedure in Medicare benefits, or $7,000 for one child.
  2. Depending on the type of treatment and whether the Safety Net threshold has been reached, the final out-of-pocket cost for a patient with Private Health Insurance could be as low as $905.00 for a standard stimulated IVF cycle. Saving about $2,100 for a single treatment.
  3. Under existing rules, each IVF baby costs Medicare about $4200
  4. The Medicare safety net scheme, now costs $319 million a year, with 44 per cent of it being for IVF and obstetric services.

These examples quoted are related to families having the IVF treatment, not singles, a subject not as contentious to some, as singles getting the IVF treatment.

Should funds from Medicare be diverted from helping the sick, to go towards healthy single people who just want a baby ?

Sources:

  1. www.bubhub.com.au
  2. www.monashivf.com
  3. www.essentialbaby.com.au
  4. www.theage.com.au

Notes:

  • Prior to 2004, there was no Medicare rebate for any IVF treatment, as far as I am aware.
  • Private Health Insurance may pay for some IVF treatments.
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