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News • 09 July 2024

Accessing IVF Through Your Private Health Insurance

Starting a family is a dream for many, but for some this can be challenging and brings up a mix of emotions like stress and uncertainty. Age, health conditions and lifestyle choices can all contribute to difficulties in conception.

If you're experiencing these challenges, remember you're not alone — approximately one in six Aussies face similar difficulties when trying to conceive.

For those exploring fertility treatments, In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) is often the most effective type of solution for individuals and couples dreaming of starting or growing their family. That’s where we come in.

Why do some couples have trouble conceiving?

Understanding the reasons behind infertility is crucial. Many factors can affect your ability to conceive naturally. Aging, hormonal imbalances and reproductive system disorders are the key contributors.

Lifestyle choices such as smoking, alcohol consumption and maintaining an unhealthy weight—whether overweight or underweight—also play a significant role.

Conditions like endometriosis, low sperm count, ovulation problems or fallopian tube blockages can further complicate conception. And for some, genetics may be the underlying cause.

Luckily, with a few tests, specialists can determine if IVF could be the right path to support your conception journey.

What is IVF?

IVF stands for in vitro fertilisation, which is the process of a woman’s egg and a man’s sperm being joined together outside of the body in a specialised lab environment.

If this union is successful, the newly formed embryo (the now fertilised egg) is allowed time to strengthen and grow in the lab, before being transferred into the woman's uterus. If you have several successful embryos, you might freeze some for use later.

What does the IVF process involve?

It starts with tests and analysis of both the female and male reproductive systems. If a boost in egg production is needed in the woman’s ovaries, daily injections to stimulate their growth will start. This is done at home over five days using an epi-pen (the same low-invasive injection instrument that diabetics use for insulin).

Back in the clinic, if the stimulation was successful, tests will find the ovaries loaded with eggs. A doctor gives a last ‘trigger injection’ and a few days later, a short procedure for the egg removal takes place.

Under a general anaesthetic, the doctor inserts a thin needle into the cervix  to extract the egg follicles. The semen and eggs are then introduced that day and the fertilisation process is underway.

The final procedure involves transferring the highest quality embryo into the uterus through the cervix. Two anxious weeks later, hopefully two thin blue lines will appear on a pregnancy test! 

How much does it cost?

While private health insurance and Medicare can cover the surgery-related costs associated with IVF, additional expenses can be significant.

The overall cost varies based on individual needs and may include multiple treatment cycles. It's key to understand all the potential expenses early on, as additional treatment cycles can quickly boost the total cost.

What does private health insurance cover?

With Union Health, if you have hospital cover that includes assisted reproductive services and you’ve passed the 12-month waiting period, we’ll cover the hospital accommodation and theatre fees for the surgical element when you’re admitted into a contracted hospital as a private patient for the procedure.

We’ll also cover up to 100% of items on the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) for charges by the anaesthetist and treating doctor.  If their charges go beyond the MBS fee, you will incur a 'gap fee.'

You’ll need to pay for costs associated with fertility treatments, which are typically performed on an outpatient service. These are:

  • Scans and ultrasounds 

  • Doctor and clinic consultations 

  • Pathology services 

  • Certain diagnostic procedures 

  • Egg transportation, testing and freezing. 

What level of health cover is needed for IVF?

Ensuring you have the right level of cover is key to giving you the best chance of success on your IVF journey. 

At Union Health, our Gold Hospital and Silver+ Family Hospital policies include comprehensive coverage for fertility treatments and services, offering peace of mind throughout your journey to parenthood. 

Additionally, our extras policies such as Basic Extras, Mid Range Extras, Family Extras, or Comprehensive Extras include pharmaceutical benefits. This means you may be able to claim some fertility medications if they appear on the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) as a Schedule 4 or above.  

Our friendly customer service team is ready to assist you in finding the cover that fits your specific needs. Book a call with our local team or get an instant, online quote today.  

It’s hard to know what to expect, but know that we’re here to support you whenever you’re ready.

This article while intended to be helpful, should not be relied upon as individual health advice. Always consult a healthcare professional before making health decisions. The accuracy, completeness or recency of the information cannot be guaranteed and we cannot be held responsible for any loss incurred from acting on this information. 

The information in this article references content sourced from

09 July 2024