Big change for women trying to have a baby

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NSW women who want to freeze their eggs will be able to get a $2000 subsidy in an election promise that would become an Australian first for state governments.

The $4m expansion would bring the fertility treatment rebate to $84m and allow 14,000 women to access the savings that also cover IVF and other artificial reproductive procedures.

If the Coalition wins the state election on March 25, women who undergo egg freezing after July 1, 2023, will be able to access the subsidy.

While the cost of an egg freezing cycle varies greatly depending on the medication, the treatment needed and the clinic, one round can cost about $5000 to $10,000. Additional costs are also needed for the storage of the eggs.

The government has promised a $2000 rebate for women undergoing egg freezing if it wins the state election. Picture: iStockThe government has promised a $2000 rebate for women undergoing egg freezing if it wins the state election. Picture: iStock

Sydney hairdresser, Chanelle De Nicolla, 36, who underwent five rounds of egg freezing after learning she had low ovarian reserve, welcomed the promise.

“Any help is help. Whether it’s to put it towards another round or if you need to take work off during the treatment,” she said.

“This money would mean a lot to a lot of people going through egg freezing.”

As it stands, only women who have a diagnosed medical issue like endometriosis, low ovarian reserve or are undergoing chemotherapy can access a Medicare subsidy to help pay for egg freezing.

NSW Treasurer Matt Kean said one in six families were impacted by fertility issues and acknowledged the “cost prohibitive” nature of the treatments.

“Many of those families will turn to IVF and will turn to egg freezing to help them realise their dream of having a family,” he said.

“We don’t want finances to be a barrier to families realising their dream of having children.”

Minister for Women Bronnie Taylor said NSW was one of the ‘most affordable places in the world’ to undergo fertility treatment. Picture: NewsWire/ Monique HarmerMinister for Women Bronnie Taylor said NSW was one of the ‘most affordable places in the world’ to undergo fertility treatment. Picture: NewsWire/ Monique Harmer

Women and Regional Health Minister Bronnie Taylor said the rebates would continue to make NSW one of the “most affordable places in the world” to undergo fertility treatment.

“We hope these new egg freezing rebates set a precedent for further Commonwealth investment in women’s health and fertility treatments,” she said.

Since January 1, women undergoing IVF or other assisted reproductive technology have been able to access a $2000 rebate to help manage costs. The rebate is accessible for procedures dating back to October 1, 2022, and can be used in conjunction with Medicare rebates to further lower costs.

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