The Department of Veterans Affairs plans to give more veterans who use the VA for medical care broader access to advanced fertility treatments, including those who require in vitro fertilization to conceive and who need egg or sperm donations as part of their efforts to start a family.
The revised policy, based on a change required at the Defense Department by ongoing litigation, is expected to expand availability of the benefit to single veterans, same-sex couples and married couples unable to use their own gametes.
As part of ongoing litigation against the Defense Department and VA, the DoD announced in court documents that it would remove requirements that service members be married to be eligible for the benefit and be capable of using their own gametes to conceive.
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In a Jan. 25 joint court filing, attorneys for the VA said it will also amend its IVF policies “to align the coverage it provides with that available under the forthcoming amended DoD policy.”
Both the VA and DoD are likely, however, to retain a requirement that the benefit will be covered only for those persons whose infertility stems from a serious injury or illness, greatly reducing its availability.
Currently, military personnel who don't qualify and pursue IVF must pay a fee at one of eight military treatment facilities where it is offered or cover the…