SOURCE: American Medical Association

American Medical Association

November 15, 2016 12:00 ET

AMA Urges Expanded Infertility Benefits for Veterans

ORLANDO, FL--(Marketwired - November 15, 2016) - The American Medical Association (AMA) adopted new policies during its Interim Meeting to ensure that veterans -- particularly those with service-related injuries -- have access to a broad range of infertility benefits, including in vitro fertilization (IVF). Specifically, the AMA adopted policy urging Congress to permanently lift its ban on Veterans Administration (VA) coverage of IVF. The AMA also encouraged the Department of Defense (DOD) to offer service members fertility counseling and information on relevant health care benefits provided through TRICARE and the VA at pre-deployment and during the medical discharge process.

"The brave men and women who put their lives on the line to defend our country should not be sacrificing their chance to have a family in the process," said AMA Immediate Past Chair Stephen R. Permut, M.D., J.D. "The men and women of our military, as well as future service members, deserve the peace of mind that such an important benefit will be available if they need it."

Because of increased ground patrol and the increased use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Afghanistan, the incidence of service members sustaining genitourinary injuries is 350 percent higher than for those who served in the Iraq War. Gunshot wounds and exposure to hazardous materials are also common causes of infertility. Approximately 1,400 service members returned from Iraq and Afghanistan with severe injuries to their reproductive organs. Additionally, thousands more sustained paralysis, brain injuries or other conditions that make IVF their best option to conceive a child.

The new policies build on existing AMA policy that encourages health insurers to provide benefits for the diagnosis and treatment of male and female infertility. AMA policy also urges all physicians to participate, when needed, in providing health care to veterans, and encourages state and local medical societies to create a registry of physicians who are willing to provide health care to veterans in their community. The AMA supports improved access to health care for veterans, including in the civilian sector, for returning military personnel when their needs are not being met by locally available resources through the DOD or the VA.

About the AMA
The American Medical Association is the premier national organization dedicated to empowering the nation's physicians to continually provide safer, higher quality, and more efficient care to patients and communities. For more than 165 years the AMA has been unwavering in its commitment to using its unique position and knowledge to shape a healthier future for America.

Contact Information