If you’re considering In vitro fertilization or IVF, out-of-pocket costs may be one of your major concerns.
The average cost of one IVF cycle in the United States is around $10,000 to $15,000, according to the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology . That doesn’t include the cost of medications, fertility testing, and procedures that may be necessary to ensure the success of IVF. And, most patients undergo multiple IVF cycles.
The total cost for IVF treatment can vary considerably, depending on insurance coverage, region of the country, and treatment center.
To learn how much you can expect to pay for IVF treatment, and some strategies to help make this treatment more affordable, read on.
How Much Does IVF Actually Cost?
While one IVF cycle may run 10,000 to 15,000, that number does not include the cost of medications, which can run anywhere from $1,500 to $3,000 per cycle.
Like many fertility treatments, IVF doesn’t come cheap. The process involves several rounds of medical procedures in which a woman’s mature eggs are collected, fertilized by sperm, then transferred to the uterus.
The technology, medication, and frequent monitoring can all drive up the price tag for the procedure. Patients may also have to pay for medications, genetic testing, diagnostic tests, and pre- and post-IVF doctor’s appointments.
If you undergo ICSI treatment (where a single sperm is injected directly into an egg), you may have to pay an additional $1,000 to $2,500. Another common add-on is genetic testing of embryos, which can run $3,000 or more.
Embryo freezing, including the initial freezing and storage, may take several hundred dollars to the tab. Yearly storage fees range anywhere from $200 to $800 per year.
According to FertilityIQ , an online database of more than 23,000 fertility patients, the average fertility patient undergoes more than two cycles and the cumulative cost falls into the $40,000 to $60,000 range.
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Does Insurance Cover IVF?
While the potential bill can be daunting, many insurers offer all or partial coverage for fertility treatments. Certain states have health insurance mandates that require employers to provide coverage for IVF treatment for infertility.
Some benefits, however, may require proof of an infertility diagnosis, which won’t cover every potential patient, such as future parents who are of the same gender.
It can be a good idea to reach out to your insurer before beginning treatment and to make sure you understand exactly what is — and is not — covered. Some questions you may want to consider asking include:
• Which fertility treatments are covered?
• Will I have to pay for initial treatments out of pocket until infertility is determined?
• Are initial consultations at a fertility clinic covered and, if so, how many? Knowing this can help you decide if you want to visit several clinics before choosing one.
• Is diagnostic testing covered? Some policies might not cover IVF, but do cover blood work and ultrasound monitoring.
• Are medications covered? If so, you may also want to find out if they need to be filled at a specific pharmacy.
• Do I have to first try IUI or spend a certain number of months trying to conceive before qualifying for IVF?
• Is there a cap on my coverage–such as a limit on total cost or number of cycles?
How to Pay for IVF
While the high price tag for IVF can seem daunting, there are ways to make IVF more affordable, along with several different IVF financing options you may want to consider. Below are a few strategies to help pay for IVF.
Working with your clinic. Many fertility clinics offer payment and financing options to help make IVF more affordable. Some also have refund programs, in which you pay a set fee for treatment (maybe $20,000 to $30,000) and the clinic will refund part of your money if you don’t get pregnant after three or four IVF cycles. Some clinics even have lotteries for free cycles or money to use toward a cycle.
Tapping family for help. It can be helpful to talk to close family members about your situation, fertility treatment plans, and the costs involved. If they’re in a position to help, would-be grandparents might be happy to gift money knowing that it is to be used for fertility expenses.
Enrolling in a clinical study. You could possibly qualify for an IVF clinical study, which can reduce the cost of treatment. You can look for fertility trials at sites like. ClinicalTrials.gov, Center Watch, and Find Me Cure.
Applying for a grant. A number of nonprofit organizations, such as Baby Quest and the Cade Foundation , offer grants and scholarships to those who cannot afford to pay for IVF. Qualifying for a grant may be based on various factors, including income and location.
Taking out a loan. While some fertility patients use credit cards or cash out a retirement account to pay for IVF, taking out a personal loan can sometimes be a better option. A personal loan can be used for almost any expense, including IVF, and often (though not always) comes with a much lower interest rate than credit cards.
Using an FSA or HSA. Putting funds into a flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings plan (HSA) can help make IVF treatments more affordable.
Making a Financial Plan
One you have compiled information about costs and coverage, you may want to sit down with your partner and/or physician to set both treatment and financial goals.
It can be easy to get caught up in the immediate needs of fertility treatments, but taking a moment to think about big-picture financial goals can help you keep things in perspective and provide a roadmap in the event that a pivot is needed.
For example, you may want to go over how many IUIs you might have before moving on to IVF, as well as how home many IVF cycles you will want to do before considering other steps, such as using a sperm or egg donor or using a surrogate, or when/if you might consider fostering or adoption.
Each step in the fertility treatment process can cost money and having a rough roadmap of what you’re considering can help you budget for the costs.
IVF treatments are expensive, but there are strategies aspiring parents can use to manage the costs. These include understanding (and maximizing) your health insurance benefits, looking to family for help, applying for a grant or a clinical trial, tapping health savings accounts, and taking advantage of financing plans offered through your fertility center.
Another way to help pay for IVF is to take out a personal loan. SoFi unsecured personal loans, for example, offer a competitive interest rate and a fixed monthly payment. And, it only takes a few minutes to apply online.
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