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Are fertility treatments and reproductive technology covered by OHIP?
The journey to parenthood looks different for every family and can include fertility services and reproductive technology, as well as other avenues discussed in this article later.
Since 2015, the Ontario Fertility Program has been available to eligible patients in helping them grow their families. You may be able to access funded fertility services regardless of your gender, sexual orientation, and/or family status.
What are fertility treatments?
Fertility treatments are the medical interventions used to help people have children. They often include medications that help with hormones and are sometimes combined with minor surgical procedures.
The first place to start is with your health care provider. They can help you start the process by ordering tests, if necessary, or making referrals to specialists if that is the next step.
Who is eligible?
To be eligible for the Ontario Fertility Program, patients must be a resident and have a valid Ontario Health Insurance (OHIP) card.
Depending on the type of fertility services you require there may be limits and conditions. You can learn more about the treatment types and coverage limits on the program page.
What is not covered?
Even if you are covered by OHIP and eligible for the Ontario Fertility Program, there will be costs that you are responsible for:
- Prescribed medications; some private health plans may limit what they will cover during fertility treatments, so be sure to check with your provider
- Storage or shipping of eggs/sperm/embryos; if required
- Counselling sessions are often required by clinics; fertility treatments can be a long, emotional and stressful process
- Genetic testing may be recommended depending on your situation.
Is there a waitlist?
Be prepared to wait for funded fertility services. Each clinic keeps its own waitlist but they must report to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care about wait times, and other clinic information during regular monitoring and reporting.
What other options do I have?
If you are not eligible for the Ontario Fertility Program you have the option to pay for treatments yourself. This can be expensive with the average costs of fertility treatments and technology averaging between $2,000-$25,000 depending on your situation.
You may wish to explore options outside of Canada. Be sure to do your research on the rules, regulations and costs for fertility treatments and surrogacy in that country before you make a final decision.
Sometimes people are not able to have children the way they had initially envisioned. There are many ways to build your family, such as the things listed above, and adoption and/or fostering children.
If adoption or foster care does not feel right for you, you may be interested in volunteering with community organizations that offer mentoring and group programs that provide children with role models and friends to talk to and share in the experiences of growing up.
For More Information
- Participating Clinics in the Fertility Program - This is a list of government-funded fertility clinics that are participating in the Fertility Program. From the Ministry of Health Ministry of Long-Term Care.
- Fertility - Facts on fertility, including treatment options and risks, counselling, and genetic testing and screening. From the Public Health Agency of Canada.
- Planting the Seed - A Fertility and Reproductive Support Group for 2SLGBTQIA Communities. Hosted by Seed & Sprout Community.
- Queer Family Planning - Explore the practical, emotional, social, and legal issues surrounding queer parenthood and navigating queer family life. From the 519.
- Cancer and Fertility - Learn about how cancer can affect fertility. From the Public Health Agency of Canada.
- Parenting with a Disability Network (PDN) - A cross-disability network for parents and prospective parents with disabilities in Toronto and the GTA.
- Accessible Care Pregnancy Clinic - Sunnybrook’s accessible care pregnancy clinic is a specialized clinic that provides care for people with physical disabilities who are pregnant or are contemplating pregnancy.
- Disabled Parenting Project (DPP) - Is part of the US-based National Research Center for Parents with Disabilities, is an online space for sharing experiences, advice, and conversations among disabled parents as well as those considering parenthood.
- LGBTQIA+ Parenting Mount Sinai - Ensures a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment for all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and other (LGBTQIA+) patients, visitors and staff.
July 28, 2021