Anything but Simple
I was recently asked, “How do couples finance their infertility treatments?” My answer to this was, “In just every way possible.”
I have witnessed family ‘crowd-funding’ where grandparents, parents, siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins came together to pool resources for a couple to undergo fertility treatment, notwithstanding the number of cycles it may or could take. In other cases, couples dipped into their life savings, took out personal loans and used credit services.
The next question that followed was, “Why do people take such extreme measures to finance fertility treatments?” My answer was simple, “They want a baby and they will do everything in their power to realise that dream.”
Nonetheless, as a fertility specialist, I can attest that the journey for a baby is anything but ‘simple’ – physically, emotionally and financially.
A Deeper Concern
In the latest development, the Malaysian Government has stepped in to provide an alternative to finance fertility treatments. Couples are now able to fund In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) treatments by withdrawing from their Employee Provident Fund (EPF).
This decision, though, comes from a deeper concern. According to figures released by the Department of Statistics, the fertility rate in 2019 registers at 1.8 babies per woman (down from 1.9 babies in 2017) and a drastic decline from 4.87 in 1970.
In broader terms, this implies that the number of children produced by a woman during her reproductive years is insufficient to replace herself and her partner, a clear and present sign that dropping fertility rates threaten national productivity.
No Short Cuts
To couples battling infertility, the option to take from their EPF savings is a much-welcomed move. However, this does not alleviate the fact that addressing infertility can be as complicated as it is straightforward.
There are no short cuts to treating infertility and I elect to stay with proven methods that bring the best results. For over a decade, I have journeyed with hundreds of couples to build a family, but despite the best prognosis, we have had our fair share of ‘-ve’ results.
Thus, it gives me no pleasure to caution that at the end of the day, there is no guarantee; and if one is to cash out one’s retirement fund, one must do so with eyes wide open.
That said, the EPF Withdrawal for IVF option is a move in the right direction. There are no limits set as to how much one can withdraw. Legally married couples below the age of 55 years can apply to withdraw from their Account 2 savings for the following fertility treatment(s):-
- Intrauterine insemination (IUI)
- In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)
- Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)
The process of reimbursement is fairly straightforward, and one that we will assist with. However, couples are advised to enquire and/or discuss with EPF should they have questions. For more information about reimbursement for fertility treatment, please visit the following link: EPF Fertility Treatment Reimbursement
This blog is intended for educational purposes only. All contents here is general in nature and does not take into account your personal circumstances. Please consult with your health care professional to ensure you get the right diagnosis and treatment.