Dealing with infertility is heart-wrenching enough without adding financial stress to the emotional stress. The average cost of a single cycle of in vitro fertilization (IVF) is $12,400, according to the National Fertility Association. Then think about how only 47 percent of women become pregnant after three IVF cycles. The discouragement and stress of fertility treatment settles in. Couples aren’t without resources though for reducing the exponential cost of IVF treatments. If your insurance company doesn’t cover the procedure, learn about the following alternative funding strategies.
Non-profit organizations provide financial assistance to individuals who cannot afford fertility treatment. The National Infertility Association maintains a list of qualified programs that provide scholarships or grants to infertile couples. For example, the International Council on Infertility Information Dissemination (ICIID) provides scholarships to couples with proven financial need. To apply for this type of aid, you may need to submit paystubs, tax returns, and information from your physician stating the medical necessity of IVF treatments.
Create a Payment Plan
Fertility clinics realize that it’s tough for couples to pay the upfront cost of IVF treatment. In these cases, clinics may offer payment plans to reduce the financial burden associated with IVF. Look for low-interest payment plans that spread out the cost of fertility treatments over months or years. According to Women’s Health USA, many IVF payment plans do not require a downpayment and eliminate pre-payment penalties, making the process more affordable.
Look for Shared Risk Plans
See if your clinic has adopted a shared risk model. This form of payment assumes that a couple shouldn’t pay for infertility treatments that don’t work. The Washington Post explains that the shared risk model requires individuals seeking IVF to pay $20,000 or more up front (prices vary by clinic). This fee covers the cost of IVF, freezing embryos and implanting viable embryos. The patient gets three or four cycles of IVF covered by the flat fee. If the procedure doesn’t work, you get most or all of your money back. This is a smart option for couples with limited cash who want to avoid the challenges of paying cycle after cycle of IVF that may not work.
Cash in Bonds or Annuities
If your savings account is low, think about investment vehicles that could be coverted into money for IVF treatments. Perhaps your grandparents gave you savings bonds as a child, and you’ve never gotten around to cashing them in. Or, you might sell your annuity to receive enough money to cover IVF cycles. Keep in mind that Annuity.org suggests only selling annuities or structured settlements if it won’t jeopardize your long-term financial health.
Ask for Family Donations
The pain of infertility doesn’t just affect the couple — it radiates outwardly and affects the entire family. Depending on your family relationships, asking your parents or loved ones for donations may be appropriate. Be sensitive to your family members’ own financial needs; they may not have the additional income to help you financially, which can cause pain and strife on top of an already sensitive situation.