You’ve heard the rumors, or maybe you have already seen the bills, but fertility diagnostics and treatments can be EXPENSIVE. If you’re lucky, your insurance will cover part, or all, of your diagnostics and treatments. You might even get some of your medication covered, but for most people, you’re left paying thousands, and sometimes tens of thousands, of dollars out of pocket. There’s no magic pill to get you pregnant, and there’s no magic unicorn to pay your fertility bills, but here are 11 tips to help you finance the family you want to have.
1. Insurance – So this doesn’t feel like an actual tip, but don’t assume you’re not covered. There are different ways of getting coverage through insurance that may not be so obvious. Check your insurance (and if you’re married, your spouse’s), even if you don’t think your insurance will cover you, check anyhow. Insurance plans change every year, and you never know, maybe they added some fertility treatment coverage into your plan this year.
2. Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) – These are typically tax-advantaged accounts, and not everyone can qualify for an FSA or HSA, but if you have one, you can use the funds in the account to pay for your treatment’s out of pocket expenses.
3. Get diagnosed/treated at your General Practitioner (GP) or OB/GYN – This depends on your insurance, but sometimes your GP or OB/GYN can request the same diagnostics as a Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE a.k.a. infertility specialist) and it will be partially or fully covered by your insurance.
4. Ask for the “Cash Price” – Many clinics have a sliding scale for their services. If they don’t have to file with your insurance, they usually offer a “cash price” that is discounted. If you have no insurance coverage or an extremely high deductible, this might be a better option.
5. Call around – The service you receive at one clinic versus another can vary widely. You may not need, or want, to switch clinics, but you may be able to have some of your tests and procedures performed at a different clinic, or facility, for a fraction of the cost. This is ideal for basic tests like blood draws and HSG (hysterosalpingogram), where a different medical professional does the test. Before you go anywhere, make sure your RE is OK with receiving results from another physician/clinic.
6. Cost Share – Some clinics offer a cost-share program. You pay one price for up to a specified number of rounds of treatment (usually three). Typically, if you get pregnant (and carry the baby past the first trimester) it is considered fulfilled whether this happens on the first or last round. Unfortunately, if you don’t get pregnant, you don’t get your money back. If you get pregnant the first round, you might end up paying more for that single treatment. But if it takes you three rounds, usually the price is significantly less than what you would pay a la carte.
7. Personal Loan – There are companies out there marketing IVF loans, but no matter what way you look at it, it is still a personal loan.
8. Infertility Grants – Resolve has a resource where you can apply for grants to cover some of your fertility costs.
9. Donations – We’re not talking about a GoFundMe page, but that might work too, we’re talking about egg and sperm donation. There are MANY things you need to consider before going this route. Seek advice from a lawyer and speak with a therapist before making any decisions.
10. Sign up for medical experiments – not the mad scientist kind, but clinical trials. Ask your clinic if there are any clinical trials you qualify for or do a Google search. Not all trials are available everywhere, and you may not be able to participate in some trials for various reasons. If you do qualify, they usually pay for some portion of diagnostics or a specific treatment protocol.
11. Veterans – If you or your spouse is a veteran with a service-related disability that has led to infertility, then you MAY qualify for infertility coverage through the VA. This program is new (as of this writing) and can be challenging to navigate. Whether it’s male or female related, you need to connect with the women’s health office at your local VA. Here are some resources to help you VA Community Care VA blog
The cost of infertility can bankrupt you. As easy as it is to say “just save for it” we know that it isn’t that simple because time is of the essence when we’re talking about our biological clocks. You can cut costs, save a little extra, get an extra job, and sell some of your “stuff,” but in the end, it may require more than that to go through treatment.