Facing a diagnosis of infertility and confronting expensive family-building options, such as IVF treatments, can cause not only emotional stress, but financial strains as well. Fertility treatment costs, particularly IVF, can add up. There are several prospects to help you afford the health care treatment you need.
Opportunities to raise the funds needed and save costs include:
- Savings accounts, Roth IRAs, selling stocks, etc.- Individuals will often use their various savings accounts to pay for treatment. Note: Make sure you check with an accountant to see if you will be taxed when you withdraw from your account to cover your medical expenses.
- Charging credit cards- People can charge their family-building expenses on one or more credit card. Note: There are resources to help you determine your credit rating (See IVF4Everyone listed below).
- Loans – Clinics, banks, and health care loan companies will offer loans specifically to cover your health care costs. Note: These loans are usually at a reasonable interest rate for a relatively short period of time (between 1-3 years)
- Home equity loans- a type of loan in which the borrower uses the equity in their home as collateral. Note: A home equity loan creates a lien against the borrower’s house, and reduces actual home equity.
Resources to save cost:
- IVF Grants – There are foundations offering grants to cover all or part of your family-building expenses. There is typically an application fee and be sure to check if the grant is only for specific locations.
- Shared risk programs- Many fertility clinics offer a shared risk program. Qualifying patients are offered multiple IVF cycles, to be completed within a specified amount of time, for a flat rate. Some clinics will also provide a money back guarantee (usually a percentage of your fee) if patients only experience failed cycles.
- Non-group insurance policies- Some states allow patients to purchase non-group, or individual, health care coverage. Note: Be sure to check whether the non-group plan covers infertility treatment before paying the high cost premium.
- Cash price- Some clinics will provide patients a special rate for paying cash versus financing their treatment or going through their insurance company. Note: It is reasonable to inquire if you are paying a cash rate similar to what an insurance company would reimburse for your fertility care.
- IVF Refunds - IVF centers have been offering money back programs, sometimes called IVF refund programs or IVF warranty programs, since 1995. IVF centers that offer an IVF refund program provide the program to help couples avoid a total financial loss in the event their treatment was not successful.
- Medication Programs- Drug companies such as EMD Serono, Ferring Pharmaceuticals, and Merck, as well as pharmacies (Walgreens) offer special programs that lower the cost of many of the most common medications used in fertility treatments.
- Military and Public Service Discounts- Many fertility clinics will provide a discounted rate for couples serving in the military or as a public servant (police officer, fire fighter, etc.).
- Flexible Spending Account (FSA)- This account is set up through an employer and can be used to help pay for your reproductive health care expenses, such as IVF. Money in a healthcare FSA is pre-taxed and usually accumulates during the year as the money in your account comes from paycheck deductions.
- Crowdfunding- This option takes place via the internet. People propose their ideas and/or projects to be funded, and the crowd of people contacted will, in theory, financially support the proposals with a contribution.
- Selling products – Individuals are taking fundraising into their own hands selling products, such as jewelry, to finance their family-building expenses. Other ideas include organizing fundraisers.
- Be proactive and shop around clinics, agencies, etc. to ensure you are going to receive the greatest service for your hard earned dollars.
- Fertility Within Reach (FWR) believes that when armed with information and best-practice strategies, individuals are able to ensure their family-building needs are met and reproductive health is preserved. FWR provides step-by-step instructions for patients to effectively communicate with their insurance company, employer, and legislators to gain family-building benefits. Personal coaching is available
- IVF4Everyone has the goal to make In Vitro Fertilization affordable for you – Has a free program which can help people who:
- Have no (or partial) insurance coverage for IVF
- Can’t afford to pay for the In Vitro Fertilization costs
- Have less than perfect or poor credit
- Want to save money on the cost of IVF
Davina Fankhauser of Fertility Within Reach is driven to teach others how to access infertility health benefits and help youth preserve their reproductive health.” Contact information: firstname.lastname@example.org