Insurance coverage of male infertility: what should the standard be?

James M. Dupree


Infertility is a disease, and the male partner plays a role in approximately 50% of infertility cases. For most patients, infertility care does not receive insurance coverage like other diseases, leaving them to pay out of pocket for their treatments. Because of the lack of insurance coverage, evaluations and treatments are expensive for patients, with costs often approaching the median annual US income. These increased costs reduce access to care and limit the ability to diagnose the cause of infertility, treat the underlying causes, and downgrade the intensity of the intervention needed to achieve the pregnancy. This leaves much of the burden for infertility care on the female partner. In an ideal health care system, evaluations and interventions for male infertility would receive the same insurance coverage as evaluations and interventions for other diseases.