The Ontario government FINALLY -- after years of panels, studies and promises -- announced today that it will begin funding IVF treatment this December.
The program announced today is not perfect. The government will fund just one (1), single-embryo transfer cycle for women who have not yet passed their 43rd birthday. (ETA:) Drugs are not included.
Still, it's better than nothing, and better than what we've had for many years. And it's more generous than what most other 9 Canadian provinces provide. Quebec used to have a comparatively generous program, but it proved to be more expensive than the government anticipated and it has since been significantly scaled back and changed to a tax credit program. Manitoba offers tax credits while New Brunswick offers a one-time grant. That's it.
Obviously, it's too late for me to benefit from this development. I'm way (WAY) too old for one thing, and for another, I decided I was done with fertility treatments and came to terms with my childlessness long ago. I never did do IVF -- and even with the considerable financial burden removed (or at least softened), it's not the answer for everyone dealing with infertility. It's still a physically, mentally and emotionally draining process that few couples are adequately prepared to navigate. I found three cycles of IUIs with injectable drugs were quite enough for me; I think IVF would have sent me straight around the bend.
But finances were certainly one of the major considerations for us when were trying to decide how far we wanted to pursue parenthood. I'm glad money will be at least slightly less of a factor for other infertile couples from Ontario who will be considering their family building options in the future.
A couple of articles from The Globe and Mail about today's announcement & the issue of public funding of fertility treatments generally. Beware the comments!! (they're not pretty :p )