People who know they are carriers of serious genetic disorders are currently only able to access these testing services if they can pay privately.
However, from November 1, people will be able to claim a Medicare rebate for five new Medicare Benefits Schedule items for new Pre-implantation Genetic Testing (PGT) services within the IVF process.
Cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, spinal muscular atrophy, fragile X, neurofibromatosis and Huntington disease are among the types of genetic disorders able to be tested for.
PGT is a scientific technique which can be used to test embryos for either a specific known single gene condition or chromosome variation.
The testing allows chromosomally healthy embryos or those unaffected by a specific genetic disorder to be selected for implantation during an IVF cycle, increasing the chance of producing a healthy baby.
The Government is providing $95.9 million to allow PGT services to be reimbursed through Medicare following recommendations from the Medical Services Advisory Committee.
The funding will be issued under the direction of a medical specialist, for individuals or couples who carry a risk of passing on a serious genetic or chromosomal disorder to their child for which there is no cure and which causes a severe limitation on the quality of life.
More information is available at MBS Online.