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 be daunting for many would-be parents. However, there may be ways to lower your out-of-pocket expenses, including insurance coverage for some procedures and medications, discount programs, grants, and financing.
Read on for a closer look at how much you can expect to pay for IVF treatment, plus strategies to help make this treatment more affordable.
How Much Does IVF Actually Cost?
While a fertility clinic may charge $10,000 to $15,000 for one IVF cycle, that number does not include the cost of add-on (often necessary) procedures. The total bill from a fertility clinic for a cycle may more likely fall between $15,000 and $20,000.
Keep in mind that the clinic’s fee likely won’t include medications, including the price of the injectable hormones (which can run anywhere from $3,000 to $6,000-plus). You typically pay for these costs directly to the pharmacy filling the prescription.
Other addition fees you may have to cover include:
• Donor sperm ($300 to $1,600)
• Fertility assessment ($250 to $500)
• Semen analysis ($200 to $250)
Does Insurance Cover IVF?
Many insurers offer at least some coverage for fertility treatments. Certain states have laws that require employers to provide fertility benefits. However, which treatments must be covered and who qualifies for coverage is different from state to state. Also, small employers are often exempt from these laws.
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 intrauterine insemination (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?
Recommended: Beginner’s Guide to Health Insurance
How to Pay for IVF
While the high price tag for IVF can be off-putting, 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. One good place to start your search is ClinicalTrials.gov .
Applying for a grant. A number of nonprofit organizations, such as Baby Quest and the Starfish Infertility 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 typically comes with a 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
Once you have compiled information about costs and coverage, you may want to take some time 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 discuss with your partner 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 can be 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 these costs is to take out a personal loan. Some lenders actually offer personal loans specifically for this purpose, called IVF loans.
Think twice before turning to high-interest credit cards. Consider a SoFi personal loan instead. SoFi offers competitive fixed rates and same-day funding. Checking your rate takes just a minute.
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