In 2021, American companies and organisations began spearheading a fight to improve access to, and lower the costs of, fertility treatment and related healthcare for all families.
According to Oliver Bogner, the chief executive of Mate Fertility, care costs relating to fertility and IVF treatment could be reduced by an average 40 per cent, which would significantly benefit Americans who need treatment at home.
He says: "Offshore fertility clinics are booming due to the sheer number of Americans traveling to have babies. Overseas, costs for IVF and other fertility services are around 50 per cent less than in the US.
"As US birth rates decline, now reaching their lowest point since 1979, access to care is critical, and it's time for a systemic rethinking of how the US delivers this kind of care."
His calls are being echoed across the pond.
UK businesswoman Charlotte Gentry is on a similar mission. In early November, she will be launching a digital platform called The IVF Network, offering exclusive live broadcast access to the country’s top specialists, bespoke advice, and preferential treatment rates for couples and individuals undergoing or pending fertility treatment.
And the numbers of people needing help has grown. There are 3.5m people in the UK with fertility issues. Even the World Health Organisation has recognised that infertility is a disease, globally affecting up to 186m individuals.
But getting treatment on the NHS is not available to many people, depending on age or where they live, and the number of cycles you can have for free on the NHS varies from postcode to postcode.
So the only recourse is private fertility treatment; the costs of which are prohibitive to millions of people. This begs the question: if infertility is a recognised medical condition, why is it not covered by policies such as private medical insurance?
What will advisers need to do to help clients in this situation, especially those who already have policies in place?
This guide will raise questions around why the insurance industry has been slow to add infertility to the lists of conditions covered and, by the end of the guide, advisers will have a better understanding of: what insurance can and cannot offer; how to signpost clients towards valuable support services; and how to provide more empathetic advice when helping clients meet IVF costs.
This guide qualifies for an estimated 60 minutes' worth of CPD.
Contributors include: Amy Tomlinson, head of HR at MetLife UK; Emma Walker, chief marketing officer at LifeSearch; Kathryn Knowles, co-founder of Cura Financial Services; Francesca Steyn, director of fertility services at Peppy Health; Christine Husbands, managing director at RedArc; Charlotte Gentry, founder of The IVF Network; Dr John Burke, deputy chief medical officer for Axa Health; Dr Doug Wright, medical director at Aviva UK Health; Alan Lakey, founder of CI Expert; and Zurich.
Simoney Kyriakou is senior editor of FTAdviser