Impact of in vitro fertilization state mandates for third party insurance coverage in the United States: a review and critical assessment

Benjamin J. Peipert*, Melissa N. Montoya, Bronwyn S. Bedrick, David B. Seifer, Tarun Jain

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The American Society for Reproductive Medicine estimates that fewer than a quarter of infertile couples have sufficient access to infertility care. Insurers in the United States (US) have long considered infertility to be a socially constructed condition, and thus in-vitro fertilization (IVF) an elective intervention. As a result, IVF is cost prohibitive for many patients in the US. State infertility insurance mandates are a crucial mechanism for expanding access to fertility care in the US in the absence of federal legislation. The first state insurance mandate for third party coverage of infertility services was passed by West Virginia in 1977, and Maryland passed the country’s first IVF mandate in 1985. To date, twenty states have passed legislation requiring insurers to cover or offer coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of infertility. Ten states currently have “comprehensive” IVF mandates, meaning they require third party coverage for IVF with minimal restrictions to patient eligibility, exemptions, and lifetime limits. Several studies analyzing the impact of infertility and IVF mandates have been published in the past 20 years. In this review, we characterize and contextualize the existing evidence of the impact of state insurance mandates on access to infertility treatment, IVF practice patterns, and reproductive outcomes. Furthermore, we summarize the arguments in favor of insurance coverage for infertility care and assess the limitations of state insurance mandates as a strategy for increasing access to infertility treatment. State mandates play a key role in the promotion of evidence-based practices and represent an essential and impactful strategy for the advancement of gender equality and reproductive rights.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number111
JournalReproductive Biology and Endocrinology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • Assisted reproductive technology
  • Health policy
  • In vitro fertilization
  • Infertility
  • Insurance mandates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Developmental Biology


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