Are couples seeking IVF abroad risking more than they realise?
An increasing number of British couples are travelling abroad for fertility treatment. Many are unaware that their travel insurance is void, as they are travelling for treatment overseas. If they lose their bags, they won’t be covered.
Sure Insurance Services Limited (SIS Ltd) have created the first dedicated travel insurance, IVF Travel Shield, to protect both patient and travelling companions for their whole trip. This includes any complications that may occur during IVF treatment, such as Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS).
“Worryingly many couples travel without knowing they have no protection should something go wrong and that their standard travel policy is void” says founder of IVF Travel Shield, Leila Wilcox
A staggering one in six couples in the UK seek fertility help. Many NHS trusts are cutting back on fertility treatment services to save much needed funds. North Yorkshire and York, Bury, South West Essex and West Kent NHS trusts have already cutback or suspended NHS Fertility treatment. Couples needing fertility assistance are being forced to consider alternatives to their local primary care trust.
Last week saw the second annual Fertility Show held in London with over 3000 visitors. The show included many exhibitors promoting fertility treatment abroad. IVF can be very expensive in the UK and savings can be made by going abroad. Foreign clinics also promote shorter waiting lists and higher success rates. The average price is more than £3,000 per cycle of IVF treatment in London whereas in the Ukraine a cycle is around £1750.
“At Treatment Abroad, we've seen increasing interest from IVF clinics abroad that are experiencing significant growth in patient numbers from the UK and other European countries”, say Keith Pollard of leading health information website www.treatmentabroad.com.
Adequate protection is essential. At a critical time when patients are focusing on their fertility, insurance may be forgotten.
IVF Travel Shield protects when it is needed most. Cover includes:
· Protection for treatment related complications whilst abroad including OHSS
· Full standard travel insurance for the whole trip
· Cover starts from just £38
Facts about Fertility Abroad
Infertility Network UK conducted an on-line poll among 339 infertile patients.
· 76% stated they would be willing to seek fertility treatment outside the UK with 70% citing their reasons would be to avoid higher costs and long waiting lists at UK clinics.
· The top five global countries visited for fertility treatment abroad are Spain, Russia, Czech Republic, US and India.
· Spain is the most popular with the UK due to short waiting times for egg and sperm donors and English-speaking staff.
· The most common risk is OHSS, this can result from follicle stimulating drugs used for egg production and the symptoms include severe bloating, vomiting, kidney failure and, in extremely rare cases, death.
· A Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority report found that an estimated 5% of patients develop some symptoms of OHSS.