In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
How to Pay for IVF Treatment
In vitro fertilization, or IVF, is a series of procedures used to assist with conception. It is the most effective type of assisted reproductive technology. Because of this and the types of treatment required, IVF is often expensive.Costs in the United States are generally between ,000-15,000 out of pocket per cycle, but could be more depending on the types of treatment you require.Many insurance companies won’t cover IVF, leaving many people to wonder how to cover the expense of it.You can pay for IVF by working with your insurance, exploring financing options, and raising the funds on your own.
Working with Your Insurance
Inform yourself on state laws.In the US, fifteen states have laws that require insurance coverage for infertility treatments. For information on each states’ respective laws, see . If you live in any of the following states, you can pay for IVF at least in part with insurance:
- New Jersey
- New York
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
Contact your insurance company.If you carry an insurance policy and are considering IVF, call or visit your insurance company as soon as possible. This can help you understand what IVF treatments are covered and potential out-of-pocket costs. In turn, this information may guide your decision on what type of IVF to pursue.
- Ask questions about your specific plan, including if it is public or private. Pay particular attention to covered IVF benefits as well as any exclusions or restrictions that may apply.
- Let the insurance company know of any information your doctor has given you about potential procedures you may require or can choose. For example, your doctor may decide to try FASTT, which is the Fast Track and Standard Treatment Trial. This reduces the number of IVF cycles and also may decrease cost.
- Inquire about public service discounts. These are for people such as teachers, firefighters, police officers, or emergency medical technicians. Some plans may also offer discounts to active military and veterans.
Add a supplemental policy.If your insurance plan doesn’t offer coverage for IVF, ask a representative if the company offers supplemental policies for the procedure. This may allow you to immediately proceed with IVF treatments and benefits for any pregnancy-related medical expenses.
- Recognize that these policies usually only cover expenses if you obtain them prior to receiving treatments or a pregnancy.
- Make sure you are aware of any exclusions and exceptions. For example, there may be a 12-month exclusion of preexisting medical conditions.
Consider another insurance plan.In some cases, especially if your employer is self-insured, your plan may not cover IVF. Ask your employer if it offers other insurance that may include IVF in their coverage. If so, inquire if the other plans offer IVF coverage. Consider switching to one of these or exploring other insurance companies beyond your plan.The following insurance companies include IVF in their coverage:
- Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS)
- Kaiser Permanente
- United Health Care
Exploring Financing Options
Check with your doctor’s office about payment options.Doctors who perform IVF are generally aware of the costs associated with the procedure. Because of this, many doctors’ offices will offer different payment and financing options for IVF. Before committing to a specific IVF program, ask the billing representative at your doctor’s office what types of payment options are available to you beyond insurance.
- Find out if your doctor’s office offers installment payments for IVF treatment cycles. Some doctors’ offices may even offer low-interest loans for your IVF.
- Inquire about any discounts your doctor may provide for public service professionals including teachers, firefighters, and military personnel.
- See if your doctor offers an IVF refund package and if you qualify for it. These ask for a flat fee for 3-6 cycles of IVF and offer a partial refund after just one cycle.
Apply for IVF scholarship and grant programs.Different non-profit organizations offer grants and scholarships to individuals who would like IVF. You need to qualify for these programs, which may be regional or national, and demonstrate financial need. The following is a list of some non-profit organizations that offer grants and scholarships for IVF:
- Angels of Hope Foundation
- Baby Quest Foundation
- The Cade Foundation
- INCIID IVF Scholarships
- Pay it Forward Foundation
- Sharing Hope Financial Assistance Program
Consider a loan.Personal loans are another option if you want to pay for IVF. A loan can provide you with the necessary funds to cover your IVF expenses and then pay it off through set installments.
- Meet with a financial advisor if you are considering a loan. The advisor can help you plan for different contingencies with your IVF or possible pregnancy that won’t strap you financially. For example, having a baby can add considerable cost to your life. A loan that looks doable when you start IVF may difficult to pay once you have a baby.
- Ask your bank if it offers medical loans. Many banks have unsecured personal loans that you can apply to medical bills.
- Talk to your friends and family about loaning you money for IVF. You may find they are interested in helping you defray the costs of IVF.
Use credit cards.If you have good credit and don’t generally carry big balances, consider applying for a credit card or using an available credit line. This can help defray any costs you may incur undergoing IVF. Keep in mind that the interest on credit cards may be higher than personal loans, so you’ll want to ask about monthly payments to ensure you can make timely payments.
- Negotiate with your credit card company for a lower APR for the period you’ll undergo IVF. You can also ask for an increase on your limit.
Draw on home equity.You may own your own home while considering IVF. If you’ve built up equity in it, you may qualify for a home equity loan from your bank. This allows you to use money you’ve already put down on your home towards your IVF treatment. Ask your bank what your options for a home equity loan are.
- Be aware that taking a second mortgage on your home may also be an option to finance your IVF.
Raising Funds on Your Own
Start a crowdsourcing campaign.Crowdsourcing, or crowdfunding, is a way to raise small amounts of money towards a specific goal. It is becoming an increasingly popular way to defray the costs of IVF treatments, especially because people generally enjoy helping others.Most donors will be family and friends. You may also pick up a few donors you don’t know at all.Crowdfunding may be a good option to pay for your IVF if:
- You’re comfortable with everyone—family, friends, the general public—knowing about your infertility struggles.
- You’re comfortable asking people you know and don’t know for money
- You don’t have enough connections or relationships to raise the money you need
Throw a donation benefit.An older way to raise funds that is similar to crowdfunding is hosting some type of benefit to raise funds for your IVF. Keep in mind that, like crowdsourcing, this brings others into your private life. Consider throwing the following to help defray the costs of IVF if you are comfortable:
- Bake sale
- Benefit dinner
- Benefit race, such as a 5K run/ walk
- Selling candy bars
Take on an additional job.One of the easiest ways to raise money is find an additional source of income. Finding part time work, doing jobs from home, and asking your employer for extra hours may help you get closer to your goal of paying for IVF more quickly.
Think about downsizing.Many people own larger homes than they need or have too many things around the house they don’t use. Take some time to figure out where you can downsize your life to save money for your IVF treatments. This might include getting a smaller home, getting rid of extra cable channels, or trading in your car for a less expensive monthly payment.
- Consider selling valuables you don’t use. For example, you may have valuable jewelry or collectibles that sit and gather dust. Use the proceeds from the sale of such items towards your IVF treatments.
- Combine all of your savings and put it in an account set up specifically for your IVF.
- Recognize that IVF is less expensive in other countries. For example, it costs on average ,200 dollars in Canada and ,000 – 7,000 in Australia.Many countries, including Canada and Great Britain, include some IVF services in their national insurance programs.
- Consider undergoing IVF abroad at a certified medical clinic if it is too expensive for you. Many insurance companies offer travel plans that allow members to undergo IVF in places such as Canada, Great Britain or the UK.
Video: IVF, Fertility Treatment, Assisted Conception, pregnancy, Test Tube Baby
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