How public funding has changed IVF in Ontario

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  1. Adam Smith

    This is a ridiculous government program. It benefits middle and upper middle class rich people paid for by taxes received from all people.

    I understand the emotional draw: who could possibly oppose children? I get it. My sister and her husband paid for IVF and we have a wonderful child in our family as a result. But our family is wealthy enough to afford it. Why should poorer taxpayers pay for that?

    It is also an excellent example of private medicine: all IVF services were delisted under OHIP so we now have a partial/limited government subsidy with private pay for the rest.

    Doctors of course are making tons of money off this.

    • Shawn

      Adam, I find your expression of concern for the poor one of moral contradiction.
      If I understand you correctly, IVF should go back to being privately funded so as to lessen the financial burden on the poor that comes with paying (additional?) taxes for this funded program. Doing this would benefit the poor.
      However, if IVF goes back to being privately funded then these same poor people who are also infertile will not be able to have children because they cannot afford the high costs of private IVF. Doing this would harm the poor. Pre-public funding, many Ontarians went childless who could not afford the high cost of IVF.
      There are many alternatives to scrapping the program that also address your concern about inequitable tax burden. One would be to introduce means testing to determine eligibility. Another is to use the existing eligibility criteria but introduce a means test to fund individuals on a sliding scale based on income. Of course, all these options add cost and complexity which, if paid for out of the program’s fixed budget, would reduce the number of Ontarians who can participate in the program.
      The program is not perfect. Far from it. But remember, its goal is to increase access to IVF services for infertile Ontarians. Two years in, more Ontarians who could not have afforded to it otherwise accessed IVF and successfully became parents. If as you say, ‘who could possibly oppose children?’ then on balance the program has provided more benefit than harm.

      • Adam Smith

        So you propose a program to means test a medical system to enable poor people to have children with public funds. but then those children are born into poverty that our society kicks to the curb (our child poverty rates in this province are reprehensible)?

        I am pointing out the inherent foolishness of this program. This program does not create access. It subsidizes access by mostly wealthier people paid for by mostly less wealthy people, it gives false hope to parents who would not otherwise pay for it, and enables participating physicians to make lots of money off the hopes and dreams of potential parents. All in the name of children.

        This is private medicine at its most morally bankrupt and subsidized in part by everyone else.

        • Peep

          There is a distinction that needs to be made between “poverty” and a person who cannot afford 10-35k on a medical procedure. There are many middle class families that are denied funding because they earn “too much” for the rebates and extras the poor receive, yet do not make enough money to afford the extravagance of a 100k/year salary. It has nothing to do with artificially allowing “poor” to conceive children that will be “born into poverty”.
          With all due respect, wise up that there is a whole economy of people who fall between the poverty line and your overbloated entitlement.

  2. doug hepburn

    Stop funding IVF for people who decided to have vasectomy or tubal ligation

    • Justice MacDonnell

      Unfortunately things happen in life I had a tubal done after my last baby at 25 years old and she passed away at 4 months old did I no she was going to pass way no I regret it so bad I miss my daughter so much and this is my only hope to keep going

  3. Rayna

    What this article fails to mention is that Ontario ONLY funds a SINGLE cycle and the embryos which MAY come from that cycle.

    If you’re like me and many women I know, you could end up with absolutely nothing. IVF is a tough process and even the doctors can’t always predict how our bodies will respond.

    Statistically, it can take multiple cycles to be successful.

    It would be great multiple cycles could be funded with the loominf reality of a failed cycle. Instead, if it fails, you have to pay out of pocket and potentially rely on multiple transfers upping the risk of twins.

    • Katrina

      Yes I think government should fund one child per couple so if first IVF doesn’t succeed they can continue until they do. I also had a failed funded IVF wish they would fund the medications or at least 50%.

      • Lolo

        the Ontario gov doesn’t even fund meds for transplant patients which they need to survive, they aren’t going to fund medications that assist a treatment. Having one funded round is much more than other countries have, even more than other provinces! One funded round without medications is better than no funded rounds at all. And most benefit companies cover the medications (or a portion of the medications) used for IVF.

        • Louise

          Actually very few companies cover fertility meds and many that do cover a very small portion. My benefits cover a lifetime 2500 in fertility meds. My IVF cycle cost me over 6000 in meds.. then the thousands more I have spent in meds for transfers. A funded cycle of IVF is amazing but still cost most people thousands of dollars on meds and extras like genetic testing ect. I know very few women who have had IVF and had their meds covered by insurance.

      • Sumaira

        Yes Katrina that’s my question is. Now can we do fertility preservation covered by Ohip?

        • Louise

          Yes some fertility preservation is covered by OHIP.

  4. Sumaira

    My funded ivf gave me 3 embryos but I didn’t get pregnant. Can I do fertility preservation in my round which is covered by Ohio?

    • Bluebird

      You can only do one round no matter what you choose. Preservation is never covered unless you’re a cancer patient.

  5. Defeated

    IVF should be funded for 1 pregnancy. I went through 1 cycle of meds, followed all the protocols, everything was going great until the egg retrieval procedure where NO eggs were retrieved out of more than 30 follicles. There was no explanation as to why and my clinic was shocked. Now my cycle is used up and I didn’t even get a chance to do a transfer. It’s been 6 years of trying and all of our med coverage is now gone.

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