In Focus: Advice for Women  

What aspects of fertility treatment might policies cover?

This article is part of
How to help clients cover the cost of IVF

In fact, Alan Lakey, founder of CI Expert, describes PMI as "a minefield where insurance is sometimes offered but it may only cover investigations".

Dr Doug Wright, medical director at Aviva UK Health, explains: "PMI is designed to treat ‘acute conditions’ that start after a customer has a policy in place.

"An acute condition is a disease, illness or injury that is likely to respond quickly to treatment aiming to return the customer to the state of health they were in immediately before suffering the disease, illness or injury, or which leads to a full recovery."

He says Aviva covers the treatment of acute medical conditions for individual PMI, which could be contributing to or causing infertility (endometriosis for example).

However, individual PMI from Aviva does not cover investigations into infertility because this is not an acute condition, although this could be an option for corporate PMI policies.

Who makes provision for fertility issues?

Zurich said its products (life insurance, CI cover and IP) are designed to indemnify a financial loss due to an illness, disease or death. Therefore, it does not cover infertility or the treatment of IVF on any of its current products.

While Aviva does not cover investigations into infertility for individual PMI, corporate policies might be a different ballgame – so it is worth advisers delving into the details of a client's workplace healthcare provision.

Wright comments: "For corporate-funded PMI policies, benefits can be added. In the case of fertility problems this can include investigations and treatment, and this is factored into the premiums.

"For example, where a large company does wish to provide extra cover for IVF, we can produce bespoke cover."

So it is not beyond the realms of possibility for a company to provide PMI benefits to staff that include investigations and treatment for fertility issues, which would benefit staff members for whom the NHS route is blocked. This includes any woman over 40, as I was told after three years of ongoing consultations in my late 30s, only to get to 39 and be told they could not fund me for a second round after 40, as they did not realise I was "so old" (I apparently looked young). 

But whether it would be beyond the realms of price is another matter – and something that advisers can discuss with their corporate clients, specifically if the employer is keen to promote a diverse workforce and encourage more women into senior positions.