The NSW government will soon offer women undergoing IVF a cash rebate of up to $2000 to help alleviate the high costs of fertility treatment.
The rebate is the first of its kind in Australia and is part of an $80 million package from the state government that also includes an extension of the rebate for pre-IVF fertility testing, efforts to boost the number of fertility preservation services for cancer patients, and five days of paid fertility treatment leave for public servants in NSW.
The NSW government says about 12,000 IVF patients who are using private fertility clinics will benefit from the rebate, and another 6,180 will be given access to publicly supported IVF treatment.
“We know that the costs of these treatments can be prohibitively expensive,” Mr Kean said.
“No-one should have to face the impossible choice between looking after their household budget and starting a family. I’m so proud NSW continues to lead the nation, helping thousands of families fulfil their dream of having a baby.”
Those eligible for the rebate will be able to receive up to $2000, depending on the cost of their treatment. It will only be available for treatments offered by accredited clinics. The rebate will open on 1 January 2023, with those who have undergone an eligible procedure from 1 October 2022 able to submit a claim.
The government’s affordable IVF initiative includes better publicly supported IVF services at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Westmead Hospital and Royal Hospital for Women. It will also establish a publicly-funded fertility preservation service for cancer patients.
NSW Minister for Health Brad Hazzard said the government wants to ensure costs don’t stop families from accessing fertility services if they need them.
“This investment builds on the NSW Government’s $42 million election commitment for affordable IVF, which was successfully achieved during the past two years despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Hazzard said.
NSW Minister for Women Bronnie Taylor pointed out that fertility challenges are very common, with one in every six couples experiencing a fertility issue.
“Fertility challenges can be stressful and heartbreaking. I hope that by lowering the cost of treatments, we can help more women on their journey to start a family,” Taylor said.
Michael Knaap, Monash IVF Managing Director and CEO, praised the government’s rebate scheme and said he hopes other state governments follow.
“Monash IVF commends the NSW Government for its decision to provide extra support to IVF patients and hope this will allow more people to achieve their dream of starting or building their families,” Knapp said.
“Introducing IVF leave is a welcome move that will help women to undertake treatment and further ease the emotional and financial burden of IVF. It’s important to note that not all patients having fertility treatment will necessarily need IVF and we therefore need to ensure that others, including single women and same sex couples, are also supported.
“We also hope that other state governments will follow NSW’s lead and introduce a similar rebate and leave provisions.”
The rebate will initially be open to 12,000 women, with a full evaluation to be completed after this to ensure private fees have remained low and competitive.