Economy

The Costs for I.V.F. Patients After Alabama’s Ruling

When the Alabama Supreme Court issued a surprising decision this month that led doctors to restrict in vitro fertilization treatments in the state, it raised a host of questions that the court did little to answer.

In the wake of the decision, doctors and patients have worried that they could be vulnerable to prosecution in any number of medical scenarios that were once routine. Some Alabama facilities have halted or restricted treatment, and patients elsewhere worry that similar rulings or laws may soon come to their states.

And because so many people pay so much for health care, the fallout from the Alabama case raises big financial questions, too. What would it cost to move embryos to a state less likely to issue a similar ruling? Will insurance cover that or the transfer of care to new health providers?

Here are the questions and answers that spring from the case.

For People Considering Moving Their Embryos

Who moves the embryos for me?

Cryoport Systems, IVF Cryo and ReproTech are three shipping companies that specialize in transporting embryos, though there are others. Your doctor or insurance company may have preferred providers.

Aren’t some shippers halting shipments of embryos from Alabama?

Yes, on Friday Cryoport paused its shipping of embryos to or from the state. IVF Cryo and ReproTech, however, have both announced that they would continue to service the state.

Companies might change their policies depending on developments.

How quickly can I get my embryos from one state to another?

It could take as little as a week, but probably closer to a few weeks.

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