In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a great technique in the infertility MD’s arsenal that has helped countless couple’s conceive over the years. Due to the complexity of the modern IVF process it can also be rather expensive. A single cycle, without any insurance can cost upwards of 30K when you include medications and some auxiliary treatments such as PGD or Donor eggs. I am going to list some of the ways you can pay for the costs of IVF.
- Have great insurance (for a lucky few)
This is a great option for a small few. The truth is, the majority of people will not have sufficient insurance to fully cover their fertility treatments. More likely, your insurance will cover some/most of the diagnostic phase of infertility and very little, or none of the actual treatments required to help you get pregnant. The sad fact is that most insurance companies treat any medical intervention to have kids as “elective” treatments, not as a medical necessity. As such, the total price of IVF will likely fall entirely on you to pay for.
- Pay Cash
This is a good option for those with large amounts of cash, and/or semi-liquid assets floating around. Chances are the interest rates you would have been earning with those funds were far less than what you might pay with other options. Another advantage is many clinics will be able to negotiate their prices down (usually only applicable if you do not go through your insurance company). If you are doing well enough financially to have this kind of money floating around then you will likely want to put the expenses on your reward cards (see next item) for that extra % back.
- Credit Card(s)
Credit cards are great for those who will be able to pay off the balance within a couple months (the earlier the better). Reward cards are the way to go here – giving you the opportunity to earn miles/cash back/ or other rewards on the money you were going to spend anyways. On the down side: credit cards often have high interest rates and the longer you carry a balance the more interest you will end up paying. Introductory offers and balance transfers can also be used to save money. Be aware that opening up new lines of credit, or high % credit card utilization can affect your credit score negatively.
Getting a loan from a finance company can be the way to go if you don’t have the money to pay for your treatments, but can manage a monthly payment. When you shop around for medical loans be aware that they might have higher %APR than other kinds of loans. If you own your own home consider taking out a line of credit on it, or using some of your equity. You can often lockdown a much more attractive rate than if you went with a medical loan. The IVF clinic you are working with might have a few outfits they recommend so don’t hesitate to ask them.
I wasn’t going to mention this but asking your friends and family can be a great way to raise some/all the money required for your fertility treatments. Asking others for money can be difficult, at best, and most people don’t like to do it. Thank goodness for the internet! Sites such as Gogetfunding.com or gofundme.com (follow the links for two examples of couples asking for donations for their IVF treatment) take much of the unpleasantness out of the ordeal and make the whole process much easier to manage.
- fill in the ________
What is this option? You tell me. I have covered many of the main ways to fund your IVF treatment, but my list is not complete. Did I leave something out? Let us know in the comments!!