What does hbf cover for ivf?
When Sarah and her husband took the first steps towards growing their family, they did everything right. They looked at their lifestyle, their mental and physical health, and increased their level of private health cover to include pregnancy and birth. They had no reason to think it wouldn’t be smooth sailing. But life is full of twists, and they hadn’t realised they were preparing for the unexpected.
To Sarah’s surprise, a combination of factors meant she wasn’t able to conceive on her own. Her plan to fall pregnant naturally would have to take a detour. The upgraded hospital cover she and her husband had chosen also included assisted reproductive services, which helped them access the treatments they needed.
“We went down a different fertility path of ovulation induction, which is less invasive,” she says. “When that was unsuccessful, we went down the IVF path.”
Certain private hospital cover can include fertility and assisted reproduction treatments performed in a hospital, such as egg retrieval and transfer. With Medicare benefits available on many outpatient services, the combination may reduce the financial burden of making a family a possibility.
Following IVF, Sarah and her husband were overjoyed to welcome their new daughter. But the process had been long and challenging, and Sarah realised she needed extra support. Having extras cover also helped her access services to assist with her recovery from pregnancy.
“I saw a psychologist,” she says. “Having a portion of that cost covered by my private health insurance meant that I was happy to go in and do it. It meant that I didn’t hesitate.”
Sarah’s story is increasingly common. Dr Stuart Prosser, an obstetrician and co-founder of One for Women, helps many patients on their journeys. He encourages them to start planning well in advance, to give themselves a better chance of conceiving and having healthy pregnancies.
“It’s about making sure that your health is in the best shape possible,” he says. That means making sure any medical conditions are well managed and that you’re living a healthy lifestyle. “Avoiding alcohol, eating a healthy diet, taking folate and exercising regularly are important considerations.”
Prosser recommends would-be parents start planning at least 12 months in advance – and says we should be starting conversations about parenthood as early as possible. “As soon as you’re thinking about trying to have a baby,” he says, “coming to have a pre-conception chat is a really good idea.”
Many people assume they’re going to get pregnant right away, but the likelihood is much lower than we may realise, Prosser says. In some cases, as in Sarah’s, intervention may be required. “Your chances of falling pregnant are somewhere between 10 and 15% per monthly cycle,” he says. “If you haven’t fallen pregnant in about six months, then maybe we should look a little bit closer at what’s going on.”
It’s a good idea to check your private health cover before you start out and make sure you have the right cover for your needs. Pippa Grant, head of health services at HBF, suggests future parents be clear about balancing their needs and budgets to get the right pregnancy and birth care. Like Sarah and Prosser, she emphasises the importance of planning ahead.
“Australia is fortunate to have a really good blended system of both public and private healthcare,” she says. “Ultimately, it comes down to your individual choice, preferences and your priorities, amongst other factors to consider. If you choose to have your baby in a private hospital, you can choose your obstetrician, meaning you’re more likely to have continuity of care with your pregnancy support team – all going to plan, you will have the same midwife and the same obstetrician throughout the pregnancy and birth.”
In Australia, all health funds require policyholders to have held hospital cover that includes pregnancy and birth for at least 12 months before they can claim for treatment related to this. Grant recommends also checking your policy for assisted reproductive services coverage.
“We recommend planning in advance and making sure you understand what’s included on your cover and any applicable waiting periods. If you’re not sure about those details, you might call a contact centre or pop in to a branch, just to make sure that the policy cover that you’re on is going to cover you adequately.”
First, it's a good idea to see your GP for a pre-conception health check-up. It’s also important to look at your lifestyle habits, to make sure they’re supporting your health and fertility.1
We talked to Dr Amanda Newman, a specialist women’s health GP from Jean Hailes, for a few expert tips.
When it comes to conceiving a baby, timing is everything.1 “Probably the most important thing about getting pregnant is having sex at the right time,” Dr Newman says.
“In order to get pregnant, you need to have an egg and a sperm together at the same time. That means having sex or a fertility treatment when a woman is ovulating – when an egg is present in the woman’s uterus.”
This ‘fertile window’ – the time in a woman’s menstrual cycle when pregnancy is possible – is open in the five days leading up to ovulation, and the day of ovulation.1
To work out when you’re ovulating, Dr Newman says it’s important to track your menstrual cycle.
“Ovulation usually happens around 14 days before your next period begins,” she says. “If you usually have a cycle of 28 days, you will probably ovulate on day 14.”
It’s important to know that your age can have a significant impact on your fertility.2
“We might not feel old by the time we’re 35 or 40, but by that time our eggs will have aged,” Dr Newman says.
Experts say women’s fertility starts to decline gradually from age 32, and more quickly from age 35. By age 40, a woman’s chances of becoming pregnant are halved. Men’s fertility also starts to decline around the age of 45.2
“That certainly doesn’t mean it’s not possible to get pregnant in your 40s, but it does mean it can take longer, and the chances of it happening naturally are smaller than if you’re younger,” Dr Newman says.
If you are trying to get pregnant in your mid-30s or 40s, keep this in mind and see your GP if you have any concerns or questions.
You might also consider if you would want to explore assisted reproductive services such as IVF, should you have difficulty conceiving naturally. (HBF Gold hospital elevate cover can pay benefits towards some of these services.)
“Being a healthy weight is an important factor in fertility, for both women and men,” Dr Newman says.
This is because being overweight or underweight can cause hormonal changes that can impact a woman’s ovulation and egg quality. For men, being overweight can reduce sperm quality.3
Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight can also reduce a woman’s risk of pregnancy complications and improve your chances of having a healthier baby.3
Healthy lifestyle choices can help with fertility and prepare you for a healthy pregnancy.2 A few key things Dr Newman suggests include:
Along with age and weight, there are some health conditions that can impact your chances of conceiving. A few to be aware of include:6
If you have any concerns or questions about how these medical issues might affect you and your fertility, see your doctor for a check-up and advice.
“Trying for a baby is a good opportunity to make the most of your general health,” Dr Newman says.
- Magma HDI OneHealth Insurance Policy.
- Nirbhaya by Bharatiya Mahila Bank.
- Digit Health Care Plus Policy.
- Other Ways To Manage IVF Cost.
- Child Loan: .
- Finance Schemes From Bajaj Finance: .
- Personal Loan:
HBF Gold hospital elevate cover can also pay benefits towards Assisted reproductive services – hospital fertility treatments and procedures such as IVF. Please note that a two-month waiting period applies to this category (or 12 months for pre-existing ailments).