By launching the first-ever supplementary insurance plan providing comprehensive cover for fertility-related treatments, Sanitas is addressing a taboo topic that is rarely discussed, despite the fact that approximately 1 in 6 couples in Switzerland are unintentionally childless.
The new Planning a Family supplementary insurance plan covers the costs of fertility treatments for women with fertility problems: Benefits include artificial insemination inside and outside the womb and genetic embryo screening. In addition, insureds receive an Ava fertility tracker, free of charge, which detects the five most fertile days in a cycle with an accuracy of 89%.
Sanitas used the product launch as an opportunity to break this taboo by staging a roundtable discussion on the topic in cooperation with Professor Christian De Geyter (University Hospital Basel), Professor Bruno Imthurn (SGGG), Lea von Bidder (Ava) and Yonni Moreno Meyer (Swiss blogger and columnist).
Speaking at the launch, Franziska König, Head of Product Development at Sanitas, highlighted how these taboos can have far-reaching consequences: “Women should be able to take out insurance for fertility treatment just as easily as for dental treatment, for example. Yet many are not aware of the options available as we don't speak openly and transparently about it.” Yonni Moreno Meyer, who studied psychology and is known as the blogger Pony M added: “When we were younger, my female friends and I usually only talked about the topic in relation to contraception. It was only as we got older that we considered how it may not be so easy to fall pregnant after all.”
Lea von Bidder, co-founder and CEO of Ava, is convinced that the Ava fertility tracker helps normalise the topic of fertility: “Knowing your own cycle and being able to think about it rationally also lays the foundation for an unbiased dialogue about fertility disorders.”
“It’s important to seek help in good time and for both partners to be examined and offered advice”, explained Professor De Geyter at the event. Only when fertility treatment is viewed as a natural option rather than a regrettable exception will couples who are having trouble conceiving feel like they don't have to hide their problems anymore. However, Professor Bruno Imthurn said that breaking the taboos would only solve part of the problem, because many people are unable to afford the high cost of fertility treatment. That’s why he welcomes this new supplementary insurance plan that allows women to take out insurance cover for fertility-related treatments in Switzerland for the first time.
All roundtable participants agreed that fertility problems will remain an issue for our society for the foreseeable future. As we are settling down later in life, have access to better education and career opportunities, and generally start adult life later, people are waiting longer to have children – and as we age our fertility declines. With its Planning a Family supplementary insurance plan, Sanitas is the first Swiss health insurer to adapt to these societal changes.