Proposed age limit for fertility treatment for women under Japanese health insurance

The health ministry on Wednesday presented a proposal for public health insurance coverage for fertility treatments from April 2022, including a plan to limit coverage for women to under 43.

The proposal was submitted at a meeting of the Central Medical Council of Social Insurance, which advises the Minister of Health.

The council broadly approved the proposal. It is expected to decide the details of the insurance coverage program, including the age requirements and the treatments and tests to be covered by the insurance, as early as January.

Public insurance coverage for infertility treatment is one of the measures compiled by former Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to tackle the country’s low birth rate.

According to the proposal of the Ministry of Health, among those diagnosed with infertility, women under the age of 43 at the start of their treatment will be subject to insurance coverage. No age limit will be set for men.

Women under 40 will be able to benefit from six cycles of care per child covered by health insurance, while women between 40 and 42 will be able to follow three cycles.

Insurance coverage will be extended not only to legally married people, but also to those living in a common-law relationship.

Based on guidelines compiled by the Japanese Society of Reproductive Medicine in June of this year, insurance-covered treatment and testing is offered to include in vitro fertilization and artificial insemination.

Medically assisted procreation treatments using sperm or ova donated by a third party are excluded from the scope of the proposed insurance coverage.

The board will separately consider whether to perform pre-implantation tests to check for chromosomal abnormalities in fertilized eggs covered by the insurance.

While no major dissenting opinions were expressed at the board meeting, one member said it would be important to revisit the scope of insurance coverage appropriately when the reproductive medicine society changes. advice on recommended treatment methods. Another member stressed the need to provide related information to the public in an easy to understand manner.

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