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Lawmakers consider IVF insurance proposal

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) - Almost 70,000 babies were born through In-vitro fertilization in 2015, contributing to a growing number of success stories of families using fertility treatments. The only thing stopping many families is cost.

"This is more than I could ever ever ever ask for," Evangelos Papanikos said.

The Papanikos struggled for six years to have a child. They went through multiple tests and treatments and finally turned to in-vitro fertilization or IVF.

"After that ultrasound, I had to decide right then and there, okay are you just going to cancel or pay these few thousands of dollars right now?" Caroline Papanikos, a success story from IVF Treatments, said. "Thank God, I had the money to say, okay we're going to go ahead and we're not going to waste this cycle and it turned into her. It makes me really emotional just thinking about it."

IVF has a huge success rate but can cost as much as $20,000. It is not covered by insurance in New York. The Papanikos had to save for years to have their baby Hailey.

"Who wants to go through this whole process, and then having to pay so much on top of that that's sort of adding insult to injury."

Not all families are quite as lucky as the Papanikos. CNY Fertility has offices in Albany, Rochester, Syracuse, and Buffalo and have seen patients come from all over the country to try and find an even slightly cheaper option for IVF.

"If they have taken out a second or third mortgage on their home or maxed out two or three credit cards, so as a nurse I take care of them, and I worry about their finances," Chris Gray, a CNY Fertility Center Nurse, said.

A bill pending in the Senate right now would require insurance companies to cover IVF and would cost New Yorkers an additional 56 cents a month. The bill passed in the Assembly, but is still waiting for a vote in the Senate.

"That's cheaper than some of our surrounding states and for 56 cents a month you can have that baby."

There is also a second bill sponsored by Republicans in the Senate that would do the same thing.


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