Starting in December 2015, Ontario will begin to expand access to in vitro fertilization (IVF) services for an additional 4,000 patients each year. The expansion will involve the funding of one IVF cycle per eligible patient per lifetime. One cycle refers to one instance of egg retrieval, which may yield multiple eggs and result in multiple embryos. The funding would include the one-at-a-time transfer of all viable embryos to allow for the possibility of multiple chances for pregnancy.
Ontario will continue to fund intrauterine insemination, which is another type of fertility treatment.
What’s new and what is changing:
- The new funding model would contribute to the cost of one cycle of IVF per lifetime for all causes of infertility, including non-medical factors experienced by same sex couples and persons who are single.
- Currently, Ontario only provides funding toward the cost of IVF for one specific medical condition, women with blocked fallopian tubes.
Patient eligibility for IVF under the program:
- Women up to 42 years of age will be eligible for IVF funding, after speaking to their health care provider to determine if IVF is the most appropriate family-building option for them. For clarity, 42 years of age means 42 years of age plus 364 days.
- Men who require services in support of fertility treatment (e.g. surgical sperm retrieval) will be eligible for funded services as part of one funded IVF cycle.
- Ontario residents with a valid OHIP card who face fertility issues and have not already accessed government-funded IVF under this new program will be eligible for funded fertility services regardless of sex, gender, sexual orientation or family status.
- A woman who is either the intended parent or a surrogate for another individual/family will be eligible.
- A woman who was previously a surrogate or who may intend to be a surrogate in the future could still be eligible for one funded cycle for the purposes of building her own family. This would avoid discouraging women from acting as a surrogate for others.
- The expanded program would introduce a single embryo transfer policy that is intended to reduce the number of higher risk multiple births, such as twins and triplets, which would support better health outcomes for patients and their babies.
- Some costs, beyond the actual IVF procedure, may be incurred by patients, for example storage of embryos if multiple embryos are created, and fertility drugs.