There is a recent decrease in fertility rates among the general population in the United States. Female physicians, who are seeking assisted reproductive technology at growing rates often because of delayed childbearing while completing medical training, are included in this statistic. With more than 340,000 practicing female physicians within the United States, female physician infertility is especially relevant. However, despite the increasing number of female physicians seeking assisted reproductive technology, there is a lack of access to adequate insurance coverage for this higher-risk patient subset. This commentary reviewed the importance of increasing infertility rates among female physicians, the associated economic burden, limited insurance coverage, and disparities in access to infertility insurance coverage. Recent studies suggest that up to 25% of female physicians are seeking assisted reproductive technology. Currently, 1 cycle of assisted reproductive technology, or egg retrieval, is estimated at approximately $19,000, with many people needing multiple cycles. Many top academic institutions do not offer enough infertility benefits to cover 1 egg retrieval cycle and the often prerequisite, less invasive procedures. Among those seeking oocyte or embryo cryopreservation for elective fertility preservation, few institutions offer coverage. Addressing and highlighting limited and variable institutional infertility coverage are crucial to gaining equal and accessible reproductive care for female physicians.
- access to care
- assisted reproductive technology
- insurance coverage