The government has expanded subsidies for in vitro fertilization and other forms of infertility treatment, doubling the maximum amount of support for a couple making their first attempt to ¥300,000.
The expanded state support, announced Wednesday, is aimed at helping couples pay for their efforts to conceive given the high costs associated with infertility treatment, which is not covered by public medical insurance.
Couples attempting infertility treatment the second time or more will have their expenses covered up to ¥150,000. They can receive an additional ¥150,000 if the man requires an extra procedure related to infertility.
According the health ministry, treatment involving in vitro fertilization costs between ¥300,000 and ¥400,000 per attempt. Up to an additional ¥500,000 is needed if the husband requires a procedure.
The subsidies were included in a supplementary spending measure that was adopted in the Diet on Wednesday. Couples who are already receiving infertility treatment can still be eligible for the support as long as their treatment ends on Wednesday or later.
Couples are increasingly turning to infertility treatment in Japan as more people marry later in life. In the fiscal year through March 2014, state subsidies were provided in 148,659 cases.