It Makes Financial Sense to Subsidize IVF
May 15, 2018
The Jerusalem Post – While human life should not be thought of in financial terms, a master’s degree candidate at BGU’s Guilford Glazer Faculty of Business and Management has calculated that it is monetarily worthwhile for the Israeli government to pay for in-vitro fertilization (IVF) for infertile women.
Lital Wiersch, supervised by Prof. Dan Greenberg, chair of the Department of Health Systems Management, and Prof. Rami Yosef, of the Department of Business Administration, found that the lifetime financial contribution of someone born through IVF is higher than the amount spent by the public purse to create the individual. Her research was reported last week at a conference of The Israel National Institute for Health Policy Research.
As life expectancy is increasing and women around the world are becoming more educated and more integrated in the labor market, many women postpone pregnancy. “This makes it harder for them to conceive naturally later on,” says Wiersch.
Israel offers full public funding for IVF to any Israeli woman irrespective of her marital status or sexual orientation, until she has two children with her current male partner.
In her research, Wiersch evaluated the lifetime public costs for an individual whose birth resulted from IVF as compared to his or her lifetime financial contribution to Israel’s economy.
She concluded that the financial contribution of the individual was greater.
“The country’s highest public expense was on education, then on healthcare, after that on welfare and last on public funding of IVF,” says Wiersch.
Wiersch is the first to study what are the economic benefits to the Israeli economy from an individual born through IVF.
“The study results may help decision makers in deciding whether to reduce or expand the current public funding of IVF,” says Wiersch.