Report card grades states on fertility treatment - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Report card grades states on fertility treatment

Fertility scorecard map (Source: www.resolve.org) Fertility scorecard map (Source: www.resolve.org)

(NBC) - If you've been diagnosed with infertility, a new report suggests living in certain states could provide better treatment and support than others.

An estimated one in five couples in the U.S. has trouble getting pregnant the first year of trying, and a new state fertility scorecard suggests finding help for the problem could be even more difficult.

Resolve, the national infertility association, graded each state based on three criteria: how many infertility specialists are available, the presence of support groups, and whether laws require coverage for treatments like IVF.  

"When you have those three things you have really good care, and when you don't, patients suffer," said Jamie Grifo, Program Director of the NYU Fertility Center.

Alaska, New Hampshire and Wyoming earned an "F." Those states had few, if any, accredited specialists and no insurance coverage requirements.

Illinois, Maryland, Connecticut, New Jersey and Massachusetts, where laws require coverage of infertility, earned an "A."

"Resolve views infertility as a disease, actually the World Health Organization views infertility as a disease, and we believe as a disease it should be completely covered by insurance," said Barbara Collura, President and CEO of Resolve.

Without help from insurance, the cost of infertility treatment can top tens of thousands of dollars, and experts say emotional support is just as important as financial.

"When you see that other people are going through what you go through and understand what you go through, that helps," said Grifo.

Experts hope that raising awareness of the disparities between states will lead to actions that boost access to care and support.

EMD Serano, a fertility drug company, funded this study but was not involved in the data collection or the development of the map.

Copyright 2014 NBC. All rights reserved.

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