Insurers including IVF cover, amid rising infertility; some partner with fertility clinics

As infertility rates rise in India, insurance companies are increasingly offering coverage for in vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatments. Traditional health insurance plans have generally not covered IVF, but high costs and increasing demand for treatment have compelled certain insurers to offer add-on riders and customised plans, often developed in collaboration with fertility clinics.

Approximately 10-14% of the Indian population is affected by infertility per government data, making these new insurance options important for increasing the accessibility of necessary treatments.

Reliance and Manipal Cigna Prime Advantage are two insurers offering maternity cover amounts of up to Rs 2 lakh and Rs 1 lakh per year, respectively. These options may assist with expenses related to pregnancy, delivery, and post-natal care. More insurers, including Tata AIG Medicare Premier and ICICI Lombard Health AdvantEdge Plan, are offering coverage for infertility treatments like IVF. However, these plans can vary greatly in cost and waiting periods before coverage becomes active.

“IVF treatments are now commonly covered in health insurance policies, and maternity plans have become more comprehensive. They often include prenatal and postnatal care, vaccinations for newborns, coverage from day one, IVF treatment costs, and even adoption expenses, which weren’t previously covered,” said Siddharth Singhal, Business Head, Health Insurance at insurance aggregator Policybazaar.com.

“In the past, maternity care plans typically had a sum insured of Rs 50,000 or Rs 75,000, but now, with newer plans, coverage can extend up to Rs 2 lakh, which is a significant improvement,” said Singhal adding that the waiting period for maternity plans has decreased significantly, from 3 or 4 years to as low as nine months, giving customers a wider range of options to choose.

According to data from Policybazaar.com, recognition for inclusive maternity coverage demonstrated an 80% YoY increase, signifying an expanding awareness of the need. The stats show 91.2% of maternity insurance buyers falling in the 25 to 35 age demographic, highlighting the urgency for family planning among young couples considering the rising costs and infertility issues.

IVF treatments can cost anywhere between Rs 1-3 lakh for a single cycle, according to Ramit Goyal, Chief Distribution Officer at Future Generali India Insurance Company Ltd. He believes the rise in patients facing infertility issues and the increasing success rate of treatments correlate to a growth in demand for relevant insurance coverage.

Future Generali claims to be among the few companies to provide such health insurance as part of products designed to make infertility treatments, including IVF, more accessible. Under its HEALTH POWHER plan, Future Generali India provides coverage for infertility treatments that includes expenses up to Rs 2 lakh to Rs 3 lakh, depending on the specific policy plan. Also, cryopreservation, which involves the freezing and storage of oocytes (eggs), is covered up to Rs 15,000 or Rs 20,000, respectively.

Despite the rising levels of infertility in the country, only 1% of individuals seek treatment, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The problem is exacerbated by unaffordable costs of IVF treatments, which cost upwards of 1.5 lakh, said Akshat Seth, Vice Chairman of CK Birla Healthcare.

Birla Fertility & IVF aims to address this issue through a partnership with Care Insurance, offering IVF coverage through insurance. Alongside this, the healthcare organisation provides the option of No Cost EMI, offering financial relief, significantly popular among couples in tier 2 cities.

“IVF is not viewed as a necessity by many, including insurance service providers, which limits the availability of insurance plans for it. We have observed that, in some cases, only a part of the treatment gets covered, adding to the financial strain on couples,” explained Seth.

Positive strides are being made towards the inclusion of IVF and fertility treatments in corporate insurance plans, Seth noted, yet a considerable gap still needs to be bridged.

Source link

Related Article

0 Comments

Leave a Comment