Findings of Cost of Living and IVF Impact Survey Published

Published 29.06.2023

Today we have released the results from our “Cost of Living and IVF - Impact Survey”. A report of the findings from the survey - designed to measure the impact that the cost of living combined with the need for IVF has on those who require the treatment to build their families - can be downloaded here.

At present here in Jersey, the Government covers the medication costs for up to 3 cycles of IVF for couples aged under 42. And while there is in theory means-tested funding available to cover the full cost of the treatment (for those with a combined annual salary of no more than £40,795), we are unaware of anyone who has qualified to receive this. This is demonstrated within the survey findings with not one of the 56 respondents - individuals who had undergone IVF in the last 18 months, were due to undergo IVF soon, or who had been advised they needed IVF but did not have the means to pay for the treatment - stating that they had received full funding for their treatment.

What the results of the survey do show, is that the high cost of IVF treatment, alongside the increased cost of living here in Jersey is pushing many, if not most, to the limits of what they can afford (64% of respondents shared that they had, or would need, to borrow money to fund their IVF) and that they are making sacrifices at the expense of reaching other life milestones in order to pay for treatment.

One respondent shared:

“We prioritised and spent the money for a deposit for a property on IVF. With our ages now and the high cost of housing, not sure we will ever afford a mortgage on island.”

The average amount that respondents had spent on IVF to date was £15,011 excluding the travel and accommodation costs associated with treatment only being available off island. 87% also stated that they would, or may, need further IVF in the future in addition to the treatment that they had already paid for.

Chloé Fosse, Founder and Charity Operations Manager for Tiny Seeds commented:

“As a Charity, we hear anecdotally all the time of the struggle those we support are facing to pay for IVF - it is one I know personally too - but what we wanted to do with this piece of research, was to quantify those accounts and to measure the impact alongside the high and rising cost of living here in Jersey as well. Fertility treatment is time-sensitive and at such a time when almost everyone is feeling the strain financially, those needing IVF are being forced to make very difficult choices, in some cases this means forgoing taking a step onto the property ladder in order to pay for treatment, or in others, being unable to access the treatment (and the chance of building their families) at all.”

We hope that with publishing these results and demonstrating the clear impact of this very real struggle - that is often such a private one, dealt with behind closed doors - we can bring the discussion into the open and allow for it to be fully acknowledged, understood and the bigger picture to be taken into account in order to help a much needed and overdue change to the funding system happen.

A podcast further discussing the findings of this survey, with Chloé Fosse and fellow Charity Governor, Lucy Stephenson, joined by guest speaker Anita Fincham, Advocacy Manager for Fertility Europe has also been released. We encourage anyone who would like to know more about the issues raised by the survey, or to better understand the impact of the cost of living alongside the need for IVF to listen to the podcast here.

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