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Seoul to help women freeze their eggsBy Lee Jung-joo
Published : Aug. 24, 2023 - 17:11
The Seoul Metropolitan Government said Thursday that it will provide up to 2 million won ($1,511) to 300 women who wish to freeze their eggs via cryopreservation from Sept. 1, as a part of the city government‘s measure to tackle the falling birth rate.
All women of Korean nationality residing in Seoul who are of childbearing age -- between ages 20 and 49 -- are eligible to apply if they have resided in Seoul for more than six months and are looking to have children now or sometime in the future. Some applicants may be selected based on their household income and Anti-Mullerian Hormone results, which should be proven through documents that must be submitted during the application process. Applications must be made retroactively within a year after the cryopreservation process has been completed, and the process must begin after Sept. 1 to be eligible for the support.
According to a survey conducted by CHA Fertility Center, 69.8 percent of unmarried women and 64 percent of married women are willing to preserve their eggs. However, the majority of women have not been able to do so as each cryopreservation procedure costs from 2.5 million won to 5 million won per session and is not covered by national health insurance.
The subsidy that the Seoul Metropolitan Government will provide is expected to cover up to half of the costs of conducting egg cryopreservation preliminary tests and medical procedure costs. Fees that are unrelated to the egg extraction process, such as storage fees and hospitalization fees are excluded.
Women of foreign nationality may apply for the support program if they are married and their husband is a Korean national.
Seoul also signed a memorandum of understanding with the General Insurance Association of Korea during a memorandum signing ceremony on Thursday morning, which will donate up to 4 billion won until 2026 to assist the city’s project. According to the agreement, Seoul plans to provide monetary support for 150 women with a household income of 180 percent or less of the median income, while the General Insurance Association of Korea will support the rest.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government plans to provide support to 300 women this year and expand the support to 1,000 women in 2024.
Detailed information on eligibility requirements and the application process will be available on the Seoul Metropolitan Government’s “All-in-One Key” website, which is scheduled to launch on Sept. 1.
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