How to Pay for IVF and What’s Included

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The financial burden of paying for IVF can be crippling, so it’s extremely important to have a plan, and understand what you’re getting into before it’s knocking at your door. I’ve outlined the costs associated with infertility treatments, as well as what stage the cost will appear. I’ll also cover ways to afford and pay for treatment, to help facilitate the option that best fits you.

Fertility Testing:

  • Physician Consultation Fees
    • Semen analysis
    • Infectious disease screening
    • Cystic Fibrosis carrier screening
    • Vitamin D level test
    • Thyroid test
  • Ovulation Evaluation
    • Ovulation testing
    • Ovarian reserve testing
    • Follicle count and uterus ultrasound
    • Ovarian function test
    • Leutal phase testing
    • Hormone tests
  • Additional uterus checks
  • Hysterosalpingogram – Fallopian tube checks
  • Diagnostic laparoscopy and hysteroscopy
  • Endometrial biopsy
  • Recurrent miscarriage testing – male and female

IUI Treatment Costs:

  • Physician consultation fees
  • Nurse consultation and injection training
  • Ovulation and induction drugs
    • Clomid
    • Follicle stimulating hormone
    • Trigger shot (HCG)
  • Blood and urine tests
  • Ultrasound monitoring scans
  • Donor sperm – if applicable
  • Sperm preparation
  • Insemination procedure

Fresh IVF Cycle Costs:

  • Physician consultation fees
  • Nurse consultation and injection training
  • Ovarian stimulation drugs
    • Follicle stimulating drugs  (FSH)
    • Ovulation suppression drugs
    • Trigger shot (HCG)
  • Monitoring costs
  • Egg retrieval procedure
  • Anesthesia for egg retrieval
  • Sperm preparation
  • Fertilization and culture of eggs
  • Embryo transfer procedure
  • IVF lab fees
  • Clinic/hospital fees

Frozen Embryo Transfer Costs:

  • Physician consultation fees
  • Nurse consultation and injection training
  • Ovulation induction drugs
  • Monitoring costs
  • Embryo thawing
  • Embryo transfer procedure
  • IVF lab fees
  • Clinic/hospital fees

Additional IVF Costs:

  • ICSI injection of sperm into the eggs
  • Morphological selection of sperm prior to ICSI
  • Physiological selection of sperm prior to ICSI
  • Blastocyst culture to day 5
  • Donor sperm – if applicable
  • Sperm freezing
  • Embryo freezing
  • Embryo storage
  • Sperm storage
  • Genetic testing costs
  • Assisted hatching
  • Time-lapse imaging of embryos

Adjuvant Therapies:

  • Accupuncture
  • Herbs
  • Vitamins and mineral supplements
  • Drugs
    • Haparin
    • Melatonin
    • Testosterone
    • DHEA
    • Growth hormone
    • Corticosteroids
  • Endometrial scratch

Post Treatment Costs:

  • Pregnancy testing
  • Monitoring of early pregnancy
  • Follow-up consultation fees

Other Costs:

  • Travel costs
  • Time off work

 

How to Afford Treatment

Now that you have a list of all possible procedures and consultations, lets discuss ways of preparing for this journey financially. Many couples are met with conflict solely based on the fear of what this financial burden will do to their marriage and their future. After all, there isn’t a guarantee that the money spent will result in a child. When I struggled with this topic, I chose to think about the future and told myself, “money will come and go, but your child is forever. And if this doesn’t work for me, then at least I tried, but God will have another plan for me. Perhaps it will be adoption, or perhaps there is another purpose for me.” Try your best not to allow the unknown financial burden to deter you from your journey…just educate yourself and prepare so it’s not so terrifying.

Get Educated:

Research some reproductive facilities in your area, read reviews about their practice and staff, and make some appointments with each location before making a selection. Many clinics offer a free consultation to make sure you start off on the right foot (verify this before you book an appointment). I live in Colorado and one of the most well-known clinics in the country is right here in Denver. Many famous people come from all over the country to see one particular doctor, which makes the wait list longer than the Berlin Wall, so I began reading and educating myself on the processes associated with getting a diagnosis. My findings were that clinics do the same processes, and the main difference was the staff. I went to a few consultation appointments and selected the staff that best fit my needs and my personal style (as far as attitude, friendliness, and patience). The main takeaway here is not to pay more just for the reputation of a clinic or doctor, somewhat like buying name brand over generic…it’s basically the same.

Talk to Your Insurance Company:

Call your insurance provider to find out what services will be covered, if any! Some insurance coverage plans will cover blood work and ultrasounds; others will only cover diagnostic testing, and some coverage plans will cover the whole kit and caboodle. I will usually call our insurance provider multiple times, WITH my husband, just in case we hear conflicting answers, and he may hear something that I didn’t hear. This is the baseline in understanding where you will be starting off in your financial position with infertility treatments.

Apply for a Grant:

Often times your clinic will have grants that will be awarded to you, if you apply. Ask the financial planning department if anything like this is available. It may be in the form of discounting your medication, or even a small reduction in the cost of a procedure. Often times it is very simple to apply for these grants, but you have to ask!

Paying for Treatment with Cash:

This is the cheapest option for paying for treatment, if you can afford to do so. I know not everyone has a bag of money hidden under their mattress so it may not be the most feasible option, but if you can make some sacrifices, sell some assets, have a stellar garage sale, or cut down on some of the extras to save even $100.00 at the end of each month, it will benefit your financial position.

Use your FSA or HSA Account:

If your employer offers an FSA or HSA savings account, take advantage of it!! These savings vehicles allow you to set aside pre-tax dollars and use it towards medical expenses throughout the year.

Borrowing:

You can barrow funds in several different ways to finance your treatments

  • Credit Card – if you are in good standing with your credit card company, you may be able to increase the credit limit and make payments each month, until it’s paid off. Please keep in mind, that interest rates will affect you, so make an aggressive plan to pay this off as quickly as possible
  • Apply for a Loan – obtaining a loan through a lender is also an option if you don’t have the ability to put such a high balance on a credit card
  • Using Existing Assets – you can take out a home equity loan, refinance your home, or borrow against your 401k or other investment tools. There may be penalties for doing this, so be clear about how this will affect the outcome, and talk to your financial advisers at your bank, or HR department to fully understand the cause and affect of this option

Ask Friends and Family:

Don’t discount this option. Your family and friends want you to be happy and they often times will do whatever they can to support you in times of need. The power of people coming together for a good cause, like creating a life, is extremely moving.

You can even use a donation vehicle, like GoFundMe to share your story and give friends and family access to help you.

People are kind, and generous when they are able to give. Let them!!

 

 

Treatment checklist credit due to: https://s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com/smartfertilitychoices/23_Nov_SmartFertilityChoices_FertilityTreatmentCostChecklist.pdf

 

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