LAFAYETTE (KPLC) - One in eight Americans struggle with infertility and with the majority of insurance plans leaving out coverage for infertility treatment, the dream of having a baby is oftentimes out of reach.
That is what led to the creation of a grant program called the "Gift of Hope" 11 years ago through Fertility Answers in Lafayette.
Dr. John Storment and his staff are selecting two Louisiana couples facing medical and financial roadblocks in building a family, to receive free in vitro fertilization.
"We started the program as a way to help Louisiana couples undergo IVF who could not otherwise afford it," said Dr. Storment, medical director at Fertility Answers.
"So many couples we see with difficulties conceiving need this procedure to build their families. But because the cost is so high and very few insurance policies cover it, low-income earning couples often have to put off building their families," he said. "We feel strongly that couples should have the chance to build their families, no matter their financial limitations or lack of infertility insurance coverage."
Eligibility requires that couples earn less than $100,000 per year, have no insurance coverage for infertility, and that IVF is medically necessary to conceive.
Applications are open to couples in Louisiana and are available to download here.
Gift of Hope donors include Drs. Storment and Susan Conway, infertility specialists at Fertility Answers, Women's & Children's Hospital, Sheridan Healthcare, and Louisiana Anesthesiology.
Since 2006, there have been 14 Louisiana couples chosen for the Gift of Hope, eight of which conceived and five babies have been born as a result, including one in Lake Charles.
The combined value of donated services for a Gift of Hope IVF treatment cycle is estimated at $10,000 to $15,000.