Canada Just Took A Huge Step For Fertility Treatment

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Starting Monday, couples in Ontario will be able to seek government-funded fertility services at 50 clinics across the Canadian province.

For women under 43 — which is the cutoff age for participation in the clinics' services — the move is a game changer. As many as one in six Ontario couples is affected by infertility, according to a press release from the provincial government.

Ontario announced in October that it would contribute $50 million (US$36 million) in funding for the clinics. That amount will cover the costs of conceiving a child for about 5,000 families.

The clinic will serve heterosexual and same-sex couples, as well as single parents, CBC News reports. The province will fund one cycle of in-vitro fertilization (IVF), as well as "unlimited rounds of artificial insemination" for qualifying women, according to the press release. CBC News notes that patients may be required to cover additional costs, such as embryo storage and fertility drugs, that are associated with the procedures.

To qualify for fertility treatment at the clinics, women must be covered under the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP), even though the treatments are funded by the government, rather than the healthcare plan. The CA$50 million in government funding is in addition to another $20 million OHIP spends on IVF each year, according to CBC News.

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