The average cost of an IVF cycle in the US is $15- 24,000 depending on where you live and your diagnosis. Gulp! Not surprisingly we hear this plea with some regularity in the Creating a Family Facebook Support Group: “How in the world can an average person pay for IVF?”
We hear it enough that we did one of our informal surveys of our audience to find out how people pay for fertility treatment. These are the top nine ways listed in order of popularity that average (meaning not rich) people pay for infertility treatment. Many people used a combination of the following.
1. Save money
People were creative in how they added to their saving, but the top four ways mentioned were cutting cost by setting up a budget, take on a second job, forgoing vacations, and working overtime.
2. Health insurance
Fifteen states mandate coverage for infertility treatment, but what they cover varies widely. Companies can also include fertility coverage in their insurance policy as a benefit to their employees, even without a state mandate. If this is important to you, let your Human Resources Department know! If you don’t ask, the answer is always “no”.
3. Clinic Discount Programs/Bundled Packages/Money Back Policies
Creating a Family has resources on these programs.
Fertility treatment loans are usually available either through your clinic, through a company that specializes in fertility loans, or through your bank. Check out the Creating a Family resources on loans for infertility treatment.
5. Lower cost IVF
There are fertility clinics that market themselves as lower cost. They use a variety of ways to lower cost, and many of success rates are equal to the more costly clinics. Some people also mentioned using minimal stimulation cycles, but you have to factor in the success rates and how appropriate minimal stimulation is for your diagnosis to determine if you will really save money. Creating a Family has resources on both lower cost IVF and Minimal Stimulation IVF.
6. Saving money on fertility medications
People cited various ways to buy infertility drugs cheaper, including pharmaceutical company discounts and shopping at specialized pharmacies. We have done a Creating a Family radio shows on How to Save Money on Fertility Drugs.
7. Going abroad for fertility treatment
Traveling outside of the US for infertility treatment is usually only cost effective for more advanced treatments (third party reproduction) such as egg donation or surrogacy. Use caution and check out our tip sheets for Top Ten Tips for Finding a Reputable Fertility Clinic Abroad and Five Things to Think About Before Going Abroad for Fertility Treatment.
This is becoming a more popular method. Creating a Family has ideas for fundraising and things to think about when fundraising for family building, including Three Uncomfortable Facts about Fundraising You May Not Want to Hear.
Infertility grants are available but they are not plentiful and the competition is stiff. Creating a Family has a list of the available grants for infertility treatment and we have done a number of Creating a Family radio show on Fertility Grants and how to get them. You can listen on your phone, tablet, iPod, or computer.
Do you have any additional ways to add to the list? How did you pay for your fertility treatment?