New study looks at unintended costs of mandated infertility coverage

by Susan Guibert

The rate of triplet or higher-order multiple births increased by 26 percent between 1996 and 2002 in seven states mandating insurance coverage for infertility treatments, costing an additional $900 million in delivery costs alone, according to a new study by University of Notre Dame economist Kasey Buckles. The study will be published in the July issue of Health Economics.

That figure likely is an underestimate of the total costs induced by the mandates, since it does not include costs associated with triplet pregnancies, with treating the immediate and later-life complications associated with triplet births or costs from quadruplet and higher-order births, according to Buckles, who specializes in family and .

"These mandates have benefited many women by helping offset the huge costs of infertility treatments. But the mandates have also increased multiple in these states, and those births can be costly and risky," Buckles said.

Currently, the seven states with strong mandate-to-cover laws are Maryland, Arkansas, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Illinois and New Jersey.

The study finds that the laws in those states increased among women who are older, white, married and highly educated, with smaller increases among minority or less educated women, showing that a narrow cross section of the population benefits the most from the mandates.

"There is an ongoing debate about whether infertility treatments should be covered by insurance, so it is important to try to understand how coverage affects , and who the beneficiaries are," said Buckles.

More information: onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/hec.2850/full

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Public funding spurs couples to seek fertility treatment

May 16, 2013

(HealthDay)—Public funding of assisted reproductive technology, including in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments, broadens the range of couples who seek treatment for infertility by attracting a more diverse ...

Recommended for you

Study recommends inmate immunity test

1 hour ago

(AP)—Federal experts are recommending that California test inmates for immunity to a sometimes fatal soil-borne fungus before incarcerating them at two Central Valley state prisons where the disease has killed nearly three ...

Down syndrome teens need support, health assessed

8 hours ago

Young adults with Down syndrome experience a range of physical and mental health conditions over and above those commonly reported in children with the condition—and these health problems may significantly ...

Time out for exercise

8 hours ago

University of Queensland researcher has found that restructuring our daily routine to include exercise can have unexpected effects on health.

User comments