Department of Veterans Affairs Issues Rule Implementing IVF Benefit for Wounded Veterans
Jan 19, 2017
Author: ASRM Office of Public Affairs
Origin: ASRM Bulletin Volume 19, Number 2
Today, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs issued the rule implementing the IVF benefit for wounded veterans required by public law 114-223 (previously HR 5325). Importantly, the rule was issued as an Interim Final rule, meaning it has an immediate effective date.
As you know, the VA has been unable to provide ART services until now, while active duty services members with these same injuries are provided access to this care under a DoD policy effective in 2012. The VA rule is modeled after the existing IVF benefit available under DoD policy, with definitions that parallel the DoD policy guidance, including limitations of the IVF benefit.
Fixing this gap in coverage for our veterans has been a major goal of ASRM and the highest priority for our advocacy efforts. Clearly, our work is not done. ASRM will continue to advocate that this benefit be a permanent benefit for our wounded veterans (it currently will sunset) and that the VA have the resources it needs to reimburse for the IVF benefit.
That being said, today is a day to celebrate our collective achievements! Many ASRM members came to Washington to lobby on this issue and made themselves available when it mattered most. Others spoke to their Members of Congress at home, called, wrote, tweeted, posted and authored opinion pieces about this issue. Every one of these actions was important and played a part in this monumental achievement.
ASRM also worked very collaboratively with RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association and a coalition of veterans’ organizations over the past several years to advocate for this coverage for wounded veterans. ASRM is proud to have worked to help advance this legislation, introduced more than five years ago by Sen. Patty Murray and Rep. Rick Larsen, and to gain the support of many other Members of Congress, including Sen. Mark Kirk and Rep. Charlie Dent. Sen. Murray issued a statement hailing the new benefit last evening.
We understand the VA and its contractors are in the process of reaching out to SART clinics to put in place a system for providing this care and we encourage you to consider working with the VA in this important endeavor.