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Veterans’ fertility treatment bill passes U.S. Senate

A bill that would provide in-vitro fertilization coverage through Veterans Affairs unanimously passed the U.S. Senate today.

The Women Veterans and Other Health Care Improvement Act of 2012 would provide more reproductive services to veterans who have suffered catastrophic injuries.

The bill, which is sponsored by Sen. Patty Murray, will now move on to the House of Representatives, where Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Wash., has introduced a companion version of the bill.

Since 2003, more than 1,800 U.S. military members have suffered injuries in Iraq or Afghanistan that impact the reproductive tract.

The bill also would create a pilot program to provide child care to veterans seeking counseling at the VA’s Vet Centers as well as fund research on the long-term medical needs of veterans with reproductive injuries.

“This is a major victory for veterans and their spouses, and for their dreams of starting a family,” Murray said in a statement. ”This bill will give veterans that have suffered catastrophic reproductive injuries the ability to access in-vitro fertilization without having to pay tens of thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket costs. It also brings the VA in line with what military families are offered. ”

The average cost of IVF is $12,000 to $15,000. The procedure is sometimes covered for active-duty military through Tricare.

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