Infertility treatment financial assistance fund launched

New Brunswickers seeking infertility treatment may now get financial help from the provincial government through a new fund announced on Tuesday.

Provincial government offering one-time grant of up to $5,000 to help ease financial burden

New Brunswick residents who have been diagnosed with fertility problems by a physician and have received infertility treatment after April 1 may qualify for a provincial grant of up to $5,000. (Dr. Thomas Hannam)

The Department of Health has created a fund to help ease the financial burden for New Brunswickers dealing with infertility.

Health Minister Ted Flemming announced the new Special Assistance Fund for Infertility Treatment on Tuesday, fulfilling a 2010 election pledge.

The fund will provide a one‑time grant of up to $5,000 to help cover the costs associated with infertility treatment, Flemming said.

The average cost of the treatment ranges between $8,000 to $14,000.

Individuals can claim up to 50 per cent of eligible incurred costs for in vitro fertilization or intrauterine insemination procedures, as well as related pharmaceutical products, he said.

Applicants must be diagnosed with fertility problems by a physician and have received infertility treatment after April 1, 2014, to qualify.

They must also be a full-time New Brunswick resident with a valid medicare card.

The Progressive Conservative's 2010 election platform committed to "provide 50 per cent of funding through recognized clinics, up to $5,000 per couple, for those wishing to conceive but unable to [do] so without assistance."

When Flemming presented the 2014-15 capital and ordinary budgets for the Department of Health on Feb. 27, he said the government had made a $1 million investment to establish the infertility treatment assistance fund.

Earlier this year, the Ontario government announced plans to provide limited coverage of infertility services. The government said it help would-be parents pay for one cycle of in vitro fertilization for all forms of infertility starting early next year.

Manitoba offers a tax credit to cover part of the costs to a maximum of $8,000 per year.

In 2010, Quebec became the first jurisdiction in North America to pay for fertility treatments, including the cost of drugs for three to six IVF cycles.

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