I am taking the time this morning to blog about an important piece of legislation for Infertility patients that needs a co-sponsor in the Senate. This legislation was introduced by Senator Gillibrand of New York and proposes a tax credit for those who undergo assisted reproductive treatments. Here is the gist of the legislation and what you can do to help pasted from the Facebook page "The Family Act of 2011" (please visit & like, FB members!):
On May 12, 2011, legislation was introduced into Congress that, if passed, will establish a tax credit to improve access to medical treatment for infertility, which affects millions of people in the United States i. This important legislation could help those who might not otherwise be able to have children, build families of their own through in vitro fertilization (IVF) if indicated as a course of action.
The Family Act of 2011 is the first tax credit introduced in Congress to support those seeking to build a family through medical treatment for infertility. It was introduced to the Senate by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) in an effort to reduce the considerable cost barriers that infertile couples face.
The American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) lists the average price of one in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle in the U.S. to be $12,400.i For the majority of patients seeking treatment for infertility, costs for assisted reproductive technology, such as IVF, are paid for-out-of-pocket and not a covered benefit under group or individual health insurance policies. Only 15 states have passed laws requiring that insurance policies cover or offer to cover some level of infertility treatment.
With new U.S. healthcare costs continually rising and new coverage mandates in place as a result of the new healthcare reform law, it is more important than ever to establish tax and economic policies that are supportive of families.
If you would like to contact your Congressman to voice your support of the Family Act, go to http://bit.ly/lsFfKx.
About the Family Act:
Tax payers who have been diagnosed as infertile by a licensed physician and for whom the indicated course of treatment is to undergo IVF treatment would be able to claim a tax credit
Eligible treatments include medical procedures, laboratory procedures, professional charges and other necessary costs when a patient undergoes IVF treatments
The maximum credit amount available to eligible tax payers would be $13,360
The credit would be available to taxpayers that have an adjusted gross income of less than $182,500 and phases out for those whose incomes reach $222,520
There is a 50/50 cost share inherent in the credit so eligible tax payers may claim the credit for up to one half of their expenses
**To quote the Association's website bulletin: "ASRM has endorsed this measure and encourages its members to call their two Senators in Washington to urge that they co-sponsor this legislation. You can locate contact information for your Senators at http://www.senate.gov/ or connect via the US Capitol switchboard at 202-225-3121."
Thank you very much and let's keep our fingers crossed that this will go through!!!
Edward Ramirez, MD
Monterey Bay IVF