National survey of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology membership regarding insurance coverage for assisted reproductive technologies

The majority of SART members are supportive of expanding insurance for vulnerable populations and the uninsured with age-appropriate eSET, but have concerns about reduced reimbursement.

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Volume 110, Issue 6, Pages 1081–1088.e1

Authors:

David B. Seifer, M.D., Ethan Wantman, M.B.A., Amy E. Sparks, Ph.D., Barbara Luke, ScD, M.P.H., Kevin J. Doody, M.D., James P. Toner, M.D., Ph.D., Bradley J. van Voorhis, M.D., Paul C. Lin, M.D., Richard H. Reindollar, M.D.

Abstract:

Objective

To assess the attitudes of Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) members regarding expanding insurance coverage for patients seeking assisted reproductive technologies (ART) and identify some of the factors that may influence such attitudes.

Design

An anonymous online 14-question survey of SART membership; 1,556 surveys were sent through the SART Research Portal from June to December 2017. Questions were incremental in scope, beginning with expanding insurance coverage for ART for vulnerable populations (e.g., fertility preservation for cancer, couples with same recessive gene, fertility preservation for transgender individuals) to extending coverage to include patients who were uninsured for ART. Additional questions assessed attitudes about assuming some fiscal responsibility if mandated insurance were contingent on elective single-embryo transfer (eSET) and lower charges in anticipation of increased number of cases.

Setting

Not applicable.

Patient(s)

Not applicable.

Intervention(s)

Not applicable.

Main Outcome Measure(s)

Specific response to 14 survey questions.

Result(s)

The overall response rate was 43.4% (675/1,556). A large majority (>95%) favored insurance for fertility preservation for cancer patients and for avoidance of genetic disorders; 62.3% were supportive of infertility insurance coverage for transgender patients; 78% supported expanding insurance for the broadest segment of the general uninsured population; 76.7% supported expanding insurance contingent on eSET; and 51.3% would consider expanding insurance contingent on lowering charge per cycle in general, but only 23% responded as to what lower charge would be acceptable. Three of four factors were shown by multivariable logistic regression to be predictive of attitudes willing to expand insurance: practice setting (academic > hybrid > private), practicing in a mandated state, and higher annual volume of cases (>500 cycles); these had significant increased adjusted odds ratios ranging from 1.7 to 2.9. A fourth factor, the professional role one had in the practice, was not found to be of significant predictive value.

Conclusion(s)

The great majority of respondents were supportive of expanding insurance for specific segments of vulnerable populations with special needs and for the population who are presently uninsured. Furthermore, the majority of respondents would consider expanding insurance coverage contingent on age-appropriate eSET but have concerns about reduced reimbursement. Those most likely to be willing to expand insurance are those who practice in an academic setting or a mandated state and/or have a high annual volume of cases.


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Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders. The journal publishes juried original scientific articles in clinical and laboratory research relevant to reproductive endocrinology, urology, andrology, physiology, immunology, genetics, contraception, and menopause. Fertility and Sterility® encourages and supports meaningful basic and clinical research, and facilitates and promotes excellence in professional education, in the field of reproductive medicine.

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