ATLANTA — Navy veteran Chiquita Oden says she is one of many people that have been denied insurance coverage for in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments.
“I always wanted a child of my own,” says Oden.
Oden says it’s the denial of insurance coverage that could be putting her dreams of starting a family on hold.
“I don’t know if it’s because of my sexual orientation, or because I’m a single woman,” says Oden.
The Navy veteran says she endured 18 months of IVF treatments.
“It’s four injections I had to give myself, twice daily.”
They were once covered by her insurance through the VA Medical Center.
Oden says she was blindsided after receiving a letter saying she was no longer covered.
The letter says Oden did not meet the necessary requirements for the VA to cover the IVF treatments.
According to the VA’s insurance regulations, benefits are allowed only for married, opposite sex couples who are able to produce their own sperm or eggs.
“This language should be changed and the care for veterans needs to be better,” said Oden.
There has been a recent push out of Washington for changes to what some are calling antiquated language.
A study done by the Journal of Women’s Health found the infertility rate among veteran women was 50% higher than the general female population.
“With advanced age, the clock is ticking. I have to hurry up and get this done, and now I only have one fallopian tube that’s functional,” said Oden.
Oden says if her coverage goes away she faces paying $20,000 for one round of IVF.
The Veteran Infertility Treatment Act of 2021 was introduced this year with the hopes to widen coverage of fertility treatments.
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