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Should adoption be covered by health insurance if fertility treatments are covered?
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Should adoption be covered by health insurance if fertility treatments are covered?

So I'm playing Devil's Advocate a little, but it seems logical to me. If your health insurance covers fertility treatments (mine doesn't though...), then given that adoption accomplishes the "same" goal (technicalities about where the DNA comes from accepted), then doesn't it make sense that the employer or the health insurance provider should also provide adoption benefits that match?

A friend of mine can get fertility treatments totaling tens of thousands of dollars, but he can't get $100 toward adopting. Me... I can't get either.

Any suggestions for convincing my employer of the logic here would also be appreciated.
Additional Details
Just a couple of quick additions...

Lots of employers provide adoption benefits. It's actually quite common, just not with mine.

And the adoption tax credit is about $10k, but adoption can cost three times that amount, so it doesn't come close to covering expenses.

Last, I'd argue that fertility treatments aren't really a health issue either. You won't *die* from infertility, and in fact, you won't suffer adverse health effects from infertility.


Daisha J
Our insurance covered a portion of our adoption when we adopted our son. It is a clause in the insurance called the "Adoption Indemnity Benefit" and it is in place ONLY if you are paying for maternity benefits. It is the insurances way to help out people who will not be using their maternity benefit that they are paying for.

E-mail me with any other questions...we have done this before and are pretty well versed in how it all works! Just call your insurance customer service number and ask if you have the adoption indemnity benefit and how it works with your plan!!

Good luck!

Angela R
Health insurance by definition can't cover a non-health related issue. If they did then people would think of lots of other non-health issues that they think should be covered too. That's why many employers offer adoption assistance. Yes, not all do, but many insurance plans do not cover fertility treatments either.

Also, although you won't die from infertility, most health concerns won't kill you either and don't *have* to be treated, like arthritis, or sinus problems.

Interesting topic. Infertility involves medical treatment which is what medical insurance is for...adoption does not, although it achieves the same results.

There are adoption grants you can apply for to augment the tax credit. We adopted a sibling group from Colombia & all but about $500 was replaced by the tax credit because it's per child/adoption.

Now...there are ways to do a lower cost adoption. Some countries have lower costs. When we were investigating adoption, Haiti was one country that was under $10,000 in fees and out of pocket expenses (this was several years ago, it might have changed).

You can also adopt from the foster system. This is a virtually cost free way to complete an adoption. Most of your out of pocket expenses will be reimbursed by the state.

Some states offer adoption tax credits, too.

Now for getting your employer to look into adoption benefits -- GOOD FOR YOU! You can go to the Dave Thomas Foundation (Google it, although I think the url is http://www.davethomasfoundation.org...I could be wrong). They have on their website a page of suggestions and information to take to your employer when you suggest an adoption benefit. One thing to bring up to the employer is that a very small percentage of employees actually utilize the benefit, but it makes the company be seen as much more family friendly, which makes it easier to recruit and retain qualified people. When we looked at it, I think the adoption benefit was utilized by approx. 2% of the employees on average. Low cost benefit that is a huge blessing to employees who do utilize it and gives a good face for the company publicly.


Angelic Valentine
With adoption, you will not be having a medical procedure done, hence it will not pay. Even if you convince your employer, you will not be able to convince the insurance company.

Fertility treatments are not always covered by insurance, it depends on "your" specific plan/coverage. With that said, NO, I don't think it should be covered, for the reason you stated in your question about it not being a medical issue/illness, but is a treatment. In any case, you can apply for a tax benefit, amount depends on your state.

If you are going through fertility treatments, some clinics offer surrogates, have you asked about that? That may be covered under the fertiity benefit of your plan.

Infertility means one of the bodies MAJOR systems isn't working correctly. Reproduction, metabolism, respiration, circulation, etc. Just because one won't die from infertility doesn't mean it isn't a health concern.

You won't die if you don't get stitches, but you get them anyway, right?

No, adoption should not be covered. The reason why infertility is partially covered is because something is broken. I think it is reasonable to attempt to fix or bypass the process. There is a lifetime limit on fertility coverage as well (I don't think anybody goes beyond 6 cycles) and insurance typically does not cover the drugs used. Eventually, costs accorded to new technology will come down in price. In fact, IVF has come down in cost so considerably that even the average person can afford it.

Life is not fair.

Insurance that covers infertility treatments is not common. Your friend is very lucky. The treatments cover the cost of the medical procedures, medications and Dr visits that the person must endure to get pregnant. How do you figure that is the same with adoption? The adoption cost is generally legal fees etc, not the cost of the birth mother giving birth. That is generally handled another way with Medicaid unless this is a private adoption. But my health insurance, pick up my son on my insurance as soon as I was in custody of him but before his adoption was final. I hear they do the same with some foster kids situation. I don't guess I can help you with logic for your employer. But I can tell you there is an income tax adoption credit that you file on your income taxes the next year after you adoption is final. I think it is up to 15,000 now

They probably don't cover birth control either. An employers health bebefit package shouldn't have to concern itself with someones ability or inability to have children.
If an employer wants female employees around, they ought to offer birthcontrol in the benefit package.
Fertility issues are a couples own issues, NOT the companys. An employers should not have to dish out money so some lady can have 5 babies before term, and three have life long birth defects from the treatments. they'd just be setting themselves up for bankrupsy with that one family.
Fertility treatments should come out of that persons own pocket, not a cmpanys. There shouldn't be an adoption clause in an employers policy anyways. If you want a baby, then you can pay for it. The money they get back in taxes comes from the taxes that were paid at the adoption.
This is a ridiculious argument, so I quit.

Kelsey H
I know what you're saying, but health insurance doesn't cover it. It's covered by the adoption tax break instead.

Fertility treatments are *health* related. Adopting has nothing to do with your health or any part of your body. Hence, health insurance. Now, with that being said, I do think someone out there should be able to help back parents that want to adopt.

I think you are headed in the wrong direction for help in covering adoption costs. Trying to equate them with health insurance won't work. I don't know how many employers help with adoption costs but I haven't ever heard of one.

I am an adoptive mother, but your consept makes no sense to me. First of all, most medical policies do not pay for fertility treatments. Second, at least this is a medical procedure. Adoption is costly, but people amazing amounts for automobiles they drive for five years. A child is forever.

Why do you want a friend to adopt you if you are old enough to be employeed with benefits?

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