Assisted Reproduction Services and IVF
Private health funds can cover Assisted Reproductive Services (ARS) to treat infertility, including In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) treatment and Gamete Intra Fallopian Transfer (GIFT). It’s important to be aware that these procedures have a 12 month waiting period and aren’t always automatically included in policies that cover natural birth and obstetrics.
As only in-patient services, like your hospital admission, are covered under private health insurance, you may be out-of-pocket for certain costs associated with ARS procedures. Certain out-of-hospital procedures that won’t be covered by your insurance, but may be claimed through Medicare, include:
- blood tests
- diagnostic and pathology services.
Be sure your hospital advises you before your admission of any procedure costs and charges.
When it comes to IVF, egg collection is considered the main procedure, which is carried out in an operating theatre as an in-patient. These theatre fees and your accommodation are both covered by your health fund, and you will also be paid a benefit towards anaesthetist and doctors’ fees. You may need to pay the ‘gap’ fee for medical costs that go above the Medicare Benefits Schedule fee.
More on waiting periods for obstetrics cover and IVF
Private health insurance should be taken out as early as possible, as everyone is required to sit through a 12 month waiting period for two key services before making claims:
- Obstetrics, i.e. services related to childbirth.
- Assisted reproduction services, like IVF.
Even if you deliver prematurely, some policies will not provide cover unless you have completed your 12 month waiting period.
Extras cover for pregnancy
can be especially helpful during pregnancy, and can be chosen in conjunction with a hospital insurance policy. Depending on your health provider, some extras policies include antenatal care, which educate and provide advice to pregnant women and their partners before their baby arrives. Postnatal classes are also valuable for new mothers. With these extras, you might be able to claim on birthing and breastfeeding classes, midwife visits pre or postnatal, and sleep settling consultations.
Claiming on out-of-pocket psychology appointments can be helpful as well, especially since many women – about one in seven in Australia each year
– can develop Postnatal Depression. Having a child is a wonderful experience, but it is a life-changing adjustment. As such, it can be a great idea to organise a safety net where you can receive advice and guidance from a professional.
Waiting periods for extras cover varies between individual health funds.