Sunday, March 22, 2009

Fertility Treatments and the Economy, a View from the US

Last week we discussed how economics can affect fertility and we
saw how a powerful lobby of Puah and several secular groups was
able to keep fertility treatments offered by the Kupot Cholim.

This week I wanted to look at another connection between money
and children, but this time presenting the situation as it
stands today in America. Unlike Israel, most Americans' health
insurance does not cover fertility treatments and the cost of
these treatments can be staggering. Treatments can be over
$20,000 and even much more, all with no guarantee of success,
so couples can spend their entire life savings in order to have
one child.

In recent years, some American citizens have sought ways of
lessening these costs and one common way is fertility tourism
where couples travel overseas to places where treatment is
cheaper in order to cut costs. There is quite debate raging
as to whether this is recommended or not, but for Jewish
couples the option of coming and doing treatment in Israel
is attractive. Indeed, in a recent New York Times article,
Puah was mentioned as being one of the organizations that
has been involved in cases of fertility tourism.

While fertility treatment is not free for couples who do not
hold Israeli citizenship and who pay Kupat Cholim, even done
privately, it is much cheaper than the equivalent treatment
performed elsewhere.

While we believe that often the best is for a couple to
undergo treatment in a place where they are surrounded by
family, friends and a support system, in a place where
they know the system and feel comfortable, still we have
helped many couples come to Israel and have treatments done

This is not for everybody, but the couples who have been
through this and have become pregnant are delighted. They
received top class care and for a fraction of the cost
that it would have been in the US or other places.

At a recent conference, a friend of mine who runs a clinic
in the US that deals with high end treatments, admitted to
me that business has been slowing down; as the economy
nosedives we may see this more and more. In such circumstances,
the options of doing treatment in Israel becomes a more sought
after option and the Puah Institute is proud to provide couples
who seek this option guidance, help and halachic supervision.

Let us hope and pray that no one will need such treatment,
but if they do, then we pray that finances will not be an
insurmountable obstacle.

The Puah Institute for Fertility and Gynecology in Accordance
with Halacha is based in Jerusalem and helps couples from all
over the world who are experiencing fertility problems. Puah
offers free counseling in five languages, halachic supervision,
and educational programs. Puah has offices in New York,
Los Angeles and Paris. To contact the Puah Institute please call
1-800-071111 in Israel or in the US 718-336-0603.
Visit our website:

1 comment:

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