Building a family is an exciting proposition, but if you’re struggling with infertility, the cost of treatment can be substantial. Developing a detailed budget allows you to get the treatment you need without a difficult financial situation. Budgeting can ensure that your family-building journey isn’t interrupted and can avoid unexpected expenses and financial stress. In this article, we’ll break down fertility and financial planning and how to budget for fertility treatment effectively.
What to Expect for Fertility Treatment Costs
Different treatments come with varying costs. A clear understanding of these costs can help you plan a realistic budget.
• In vitro fertilization (IVF) involves fertilizing eggs with sperm in a laboratory and then transferring the resulting embryo(s) into a woman's uterus. Depending on each patients situation, a single IVF cycle can costs over $30,000, but typically, the overall costs for an IVF cycle tends to land within the range of $15,000 to $20,000.
• Egg freezing may also be a consideration for some people. In general, egg freezing costs range from $5,000 to $10,000 per cycle, not including medications or additional services such as storage fees or initial fertility testing.
• Donor eggs are an option for people who cannot conceive using their eggs or for LGBT+ couples or individuals. The cost of using donor eggs can vary widely, but it typically ranges from $25,000 to $35,000 per cycle. This typically covers the costs associated with the donor such as fertility drugs to stimulate ovulation, egg retrieval, etc. and of course the eggs themselves. It does not, however, generally include costs such as estrogen and progesterone shots for yourself, sperm, legal fees, or fees for counseling prior to IVF.
• Gestational surrogacy involves using a gestational carrier (surrogate) to carry a pregnancy for another person or couple. The cost of gestational surrogacy typically ranges from $80,000 to $120,000 per cycle. This estimate includes donor eggs, surrogate fees, clinic costs, and legal fees.
Additional Costs Associated with Fertility Treatment
It’s also important to consider additional costs associated with fertility treatment. These may include medications, genetic testing, and storage fees.
• Medications can add $3,000 to $5,000 to the total cost
• Genetic testing can range from $500 to $3,000
• Storage fees for embryos, eggs, or sperm can also add up, with annual fees ranging from $300 to $1,000
While some insurance plans may cover the cost of fertility treatment, others may not. Typically, insurance plans that do cover fertility treatment will limit the number of cycles covered or the types of treatments included.
To determine what your insurance plan covers, review your policy documents. These documents should include details on what is covered under your plan, including limits or exclusions on fertility treatment coverage. If you’re unsure about the specifics of your plan, you can also contact your insurance provider for more information.
In addition to reviewing your insurance policy documents and speaking with your insurance provider, working with a fertility clinic with experience navigating insurance coverage for fertility treatment may also be helpful.
At IHR, our Patient Financial Counselors will help you navigate the sometimes-confusing landscape of insurance coverage and financing fertility treatments. They'll help you obtain information on your current coverage and explain what this means in terms of treatment options available to you. Once you've consulted with our physicians and a treatment plan is in place, they'll provide you with cost estimates and explore with you the solutions for financing any costs not covered by your insurance plan. They'll even help connect you with third-party services focused on helping people along their fertility journey.
Exploring Financing Options
There are several financing options available for individuals and couples seeking fertility treatment. Here is an overview of some of the most common financing options:
• Personal loans: Personal loans typically have fixed interest rates and repayment terms. Consider the long-term financial impact of taking on debt and carefully review loan terms before deciding.
• Fertility-specific loans: Some lenders specialize in providing loans for fertility treatment. These loans may offer lower interest rates or more flexible repayment terms than traditional personal loans. However, they may also have strict eligibility requirements and may not be accessible to everyone.
• Grants: Several organizations offer grants to those seeking fertility treatment. Grants don’t have to be repaid. However, they’re often highly competitive, and eligibility criteria can be strict.
• Crowdfunding: Crowdfunding platforms such as GoFundMe can be a valuable way to raise funds quickly, but it may not be a reliable or sustainable long-term financing option.
Ultimately, the best option will depend on your financial situation and needs. Speak with a financial advisor for additional guidance on which option might be best for you. They can help you understand the options available and provide personalized advice based on your circumstances.
Creating a Realistic Budget
Creating a budget for fertility treatment can be summarized in a few steps:
1. Determine the cost of treatment
2. Review your insurance
3. Evaluate your financial situation and how much you can realistically pay each month
4. Look for ways to reduce costs
5. Create a repayment plan
Cost reductions may be as simple as price-shopping before you choose a clinic. Other ways to cut costs include exploring medication discounts and other cost-saving options and looking into shared-risk programs.
It’s essential to create a realistic budget that you can adhere to. Setting achievable goals will reduce stress (both financial and psychological), prioritize expenses, avoid financial surprises, and get the treatment you need to start building your family.
Let Us Help You Start You Journey
Financial planning is an essential part of the family-building process. Understanding the costs, exploring financing options, and creating a realistic budget can help make fertility treatment more achievable. It's essential to seek out financial assistance resources and work with your fertility clinic to ensure you’re making informed decisions about your treatment options. With the proper planning and support, you can make your dreams of starting a family a reality.
Contact us today and let our patient financial counselors help you get started.