The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare has announced a time line for its plans to introduce an age cap for recipients of state-subsidized fertility treatment.
The ministry says it will limit public aid for in vitro fertilization to women up to 42 years old from fiscal 2016, TBS reported.
The reason given by the ministry is that success rates tend to decline for woman over 40.
The ministry also said it will reduce the maximum number of publicly funded treatments available from 10 to six attempts. Future plans under discussion include a reconsideration of the income bracket for recipients and the possible introduction of one-off payments.
Public aid for in vitro fertilization, which is not covered by medical insurance in Japan, started in 2004. The scheme was aimed at alleviating the financial burden of treatments for couples whose combined annual income totals less than 7.3 million yen. The ministry said the average cost per attempt is 300,000 yen, of which the public fund covers 150,000 yen.
Around 79,000 women received subsidized treatments in Japan in fiscal 2012, the ministry said.© Japan Today