Wounded veterans still face out-of-pocket costs for IVF treatment

February 16, 2016

While the Pentagon's healthcare system for active-duty troops covers IVF for wounded soldiers, the VA doesn't for veterans. A law passed in 1992 banned the VA from paying for IVF, which some people oppose because embryos are often destroyed in the process. Bills to change the law come up periodically, only to be blocked. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said there continues to be a backroom concern about the practice of IVF. Murray's bipartisan IVF bill nearly passed last summer, but Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), who is against abortion rights, blocked it stating that he opposed the bill because other problems at the VA need to be fixed first. The CBO estimates a change in VA policy to pay for fertility treatment could cost more than $500 million over four years. Murray contends veterans should get the same options as active-duty troops. Rep. Jeff Miller, the Republican chairman of the House Committee on VA, said he's working toward a compromise that "meets the needs of this special group of severely injured veterans while being sensitive to concerns surrounding IVF procedures." Meanwhile, many fertility clinics are offering discounted rates for veterans who are paying out of their own pockets for IVF.
Related News:
Wounded vet denied IVF coverage by VA health insurance - CBS News
Couple fights to change law preventing IVF coverage for vets - CBS News