An IVF Financing Option For Everyone
Why is in vitro fertilization so expensive?
Understanding this procedure will help you to grasp why the price tag is so frightening. Overall, the complicated process of IVF involves collecting eggs and sperm, combining them in a laboratory, incubating them until embryos, and then transferring the resulting embryos to the uterus.
In vitro fertilization begins with the woman taking medications that will perfectly time the release of multiple eggs, known as ovarian induction. The development of the eggs and the woman’s hormone levels are monitored by ultrasound as well as blood and urine tests while the woman’s body is preparing for ovulation.
Once the eggs are developed, they are retrieved with a hollow needle that is guided by ultrasound. This procedure, called follicular aspiration, is performed with local anesthesia and sedation, although many women still experience discomfort and cramping.
The prospective father provides a sperm sample, which is combined with the eggs in a laboratory dish. In some cases, the sperm are actually injected into the egg.
This dish is then incubated and monitored for growth. 2-3 days after this insemination, the fertilized eggs have hopefully multiplied into a 2-4 cell embryo and are ready for transfer. A speculum is placed in the vagina and the eggs are transferred by a catheter to the uterus, guided by ultrasound.
This procedure often causes cramping but should not be very painful. Because this is an intensive process requiring a great deal of equipment and expert management, IVF financing is a huge investment decision for many couples.
Here are the top twenty options available to you. [highlight]If you know of any others, please add them in the comments.[/highlight]
IVF Financing Option #1: Health Insurance
Many people assume that their insurance will not cover IVF, but this is not always true. There are currently 15 states that require coverage of fertility treatments by standard health insurance plans, although the amount of coverage varies by state and by the insurance plan.
Even if your state does not mandate IVF coverage, your plan may still cover some costs. The first step to financing your in vitro fertilization is to find out whether your state mandates coverage, whether your plan offers it, and what expenses will be left afterward.
Insurance coverage is one of your first-line IVF financing options.
IVF Financing Option #2: Loans Against Assets
A couple trying to conceive often owns assets besides cash in checking and savings accounts. For example, many people have equity in a home, a life insurance policy, or a retirement investment account such as a 401K.
You do not have to liquidate these assets to use them to fund IVF; in many cases, you can take out a personal loan using these and other assets as collateral.
For example, many people take out a home equity loan to help with IVF financing and other fertility treatments.
Financing Option #3: Fertility Grants
There are several charitable foundations, such as The Cade Foundation, BUMPS, and Fertility Grants, that give out cash grants to people who need but cannot afford fertility treatments.
These grants are not enough money to cover the full cost, but they can take a large chunk out of your bill and be combined with other assistance and financing programs if you can show financial need.
Contact info: A list of resources for grants can be found at Resolve.org
Option #4: Help from Family and Friends
While it can be embarrassing to fundraise among your loved ones, they likely want to help you. Even smaller gifts can add up immensely. This gives your loved ones a chance to give you the gift of a lifetime: a family.
Consider having a fundraiser or signing up with IVF Gift Registry to help fund your in vitro fertilization treatments. This online cash gift registry allows friends and family to contribute to your IVF fund, which collectively can come to a substantial amount of money.
The cash is then sent to you in a check or direct deposited into your bank account in a simple, streamlined process.
Option #5: The Assisted Reproduction Insurance Program®
This program through New Life Agency Inc. offers insurance plans that cover fertility services, including IVF. In addition, partial refunds are given if pregnancy is not achieved.
This plan requires that you see a doctor who is part of the preferred provider network, but you can ask your doctor to join if they are not listed. There are also discounts on common fertility prescriptions when bought at Walgreens.
As with any health insurance policy, it is important to read the fine print and understand exactly what services and treatments will be covered.
IVF Financing Option #6: The ARC Fertility Program®
This program was founded by reproductive endocrinologists in 1997 and is ran by Advanced Reproductive Care, Inc. The ARC Fertility Program offers a national list of physicians and clinics that will accept less expensive package pricing for up to three live IVF cycles and three frozen cycles.
There is also package pricing available for other common fertility treatments, such as IUI. There are a few downsides to this financing option. Full payment for the package must be made in advance to Advanced Reproductive Care, who will forward it to your doctor.
In addition, no refunds are given if you conceive the first cycle and do not use the others in your package. In order to qualify for this program, you must fill out applications for both the fertility treatments and the pharmaceuticals.
The applications can both be found online.
Option #7: The Assure IVF Refund Program
Like the ARC program, the Assure IVF Refund program allows people to pay a lower fixed fee for three live and three frozen cycles. However, it also has the benefit of a refund program.
If the patient does not have a successful conception, pregnancy, and birth, they get 80 to 100% of their money back. Rather than paying upfront as with the ARC program, Assure IVF Refund Program offers financing through American Healthcare Lending.
This makes their services more accessible to many couples. In order to get this flat fee, patients must fill out an application and meet eligibility requirements.
Option #8: Compassionate Care
This is a pharmaceutical assistance program run by EMD Serono, one of the leading manufacturers of fertility medications. Patients who can show financial need can get a 50-75% discount or $10 off each prescription. Eligibility for this program is determined by gross household income and other factors.
The details and application can be found at the company website. In addition, veterans who do not qualify for the veteran-specific Compassionate Corps program can get 25% off their fertility medications even if they do not qualify for the 50-75% discount.
Option #9: Compassionate Corps
This is another pharmaceutical discount program offered by fertility drug maker EMD Serono. This program offers free fertility medications for retired veterans who are infertile due to an injury acquired while in active military service or their spouses.
In addition to being infertile due to an injury occurring while serving in the military, couples also must not have insurance that covers IVF and must be diagnosed as requiring this procedure by a physician.
The programs offered by EMD Serono can be combined as eligible to cover a great deal of the medications needed for IVF, making this one of the best IVF financing options.
Contact: Compassionate corps
IVF Financing Option #10: WINFertility®
WINFertility is a discounted bundled fee for services rendered at one of the participating clinics. In addition to covering services, this package deal includes medications and other expenses.
There are over 100 clinics currently participating in this program. The savings add up to around 40% of the cost of getting the same services without a package at retail price. Treatment packages cover all of the expenses for a single round of IVF. There are also bundles for IUI, IVF Freeze and Thaw, and other common fertility treatments.
People who choose to use the WINfertility package at a participating provider can also apply for low interest financing. In addition, there are several side benefits to this infertility financing option.
A hotline is available where patients can speak to a trained fertility nurse at any time via a hotline. In addition, there are no restrictions for age or medical condition.
Contact: WIN Fertility
Option #11: WINFertilityRx
WINfertilityRX is the other component of WINfertility’s bundle option for IVF. This program offers up to 40% off fertility medications for people who are paying for them out of pocket.
In addition, participants get the same access to a trained fertility nurse hotline as people who purchase the treatment package. There are no coupons, forms, cards, or unusual criteria in order to qualify for this program.
Patients receive their medications in the mail with free express shipping in the United States, along with a Fertility Order Review that explains how to store and to use the medications in each order. Medications usually arrive one business day after the order is placed.
IVF Financing Option #12: EggBanxx
This IVF financing option covers one major expense of IVF: egg freezing. Run by Fertility Authority, it offers low cost financing for up to 84 months that covers egg freezing as well as some of the costs associated with harvesting the eggs. Unlike many other infertility financing options, there are no qualifications of prerequisites to use this program. EggBanxx offers this assistance to any woman who wishes to freeze her eggs and will even refer interested women to a participating reproductive endocrinologist in their area to find out if they are a good candidate.
Option #13: Fertility and Reproductive Financing Program
American HealthCare Lending is one of the leading lending agencies for Americans who cannot cover the costs of needed or wanted health treatments.
This company’s Fertility and Reproductive Financing Program will cover any fertility costs up to $100,000, with up to 84 months to repay the loan and no penalties for people who pay off the loan early. People who wish to get on this loan program have to apply online and meet basic financing criteria including a certain credit score and annual income requirements.
The application can be completed from any decide, including mobile phones. An immediate decision is available for loans of less than $35,000. In addition, patients must get their IVF services from an AHCL Fertility and Reproductive Program approved clinic or fertility specialist.
Option #14: Shared Risk
This program offers a bundle with 6 fresh cycles of IVF as well as frozen or donor embryo transfers for one flat fee. If the patient does not have a successful pregnancy and birth, there is a 100% refund.
In order to be approved, patients must have a complete medical screening and be deemed good candidates for IVF. In addition, these women must be less than 39 years old when the last cycle of IVF is completed unless they are using donor eggs.
Financing for the Shared Risk program is offered from Fertility Finance.
Option #15: Financing from New Life Agency in Partnership with LightStream
These two companies have collaborated to offer IVF financing options for all kinds of assisted reproduction, including fertility medications, IVF, and surrogacy.
Qualifying medications must be purchased from a Walgreens Pharmacy. In order to qualify, patients must have at least good or excellent credit. The loan is processed by Lightstream in a paperless online process, with most applicants receiving an almost immediate response. All fertility and assisted reproductive options are covered.
If approved, the requested funding will be deposited into the patient’s bank account, usually on the same day as application, with no down payment or fees.
Financing from New Life Agency in partnership with Lightstream is available up to $100,000 with fixed annual interest rates starting at 5.99%. No collateral, liens, or other security is necessary, although the required credit rating may be a challenge.
Financing Option #16: IVF Greenlight
This pharmaceutical savings program covers fertility medications made by Ferring Pharmaceuticals. This program helps patients who do not have insurance covering their pharmaceutical costs.
The covered drugs for this program include hMG, FSH, hCG, Menopur, Novarel, and Endometrin, all made by Ferring Pharmaceuticals. Up to 50% of the cash cost of these drugs is covered. Unlike other pharmaceutical programs, IVF Greenlight has no income requirements or financial documents to submit.
All a patient needs in order to get on this discount program is a prescription for a minimum amount of the medications. For example, people only qualify if they have been prescribed ten or more vials of Bravelle or Menopur.
Option #17: First Steps Program
This is another pharmaceutical assistance program, this one offered by DesignRx. This company is the maker of drugs such as follitropin injectable Follstim, injectable Ganirelix, and Pregynl.
Patients who apply for this program should be able to demonstrate hardship, including meeting financial requirements. However, everyone who applies receives some kind of discount so everyone should apply. Patients need to have a valid prescription for one of the covered drugs at a pharmacy that is in DesignRX’s network.
DesignRX will issue people who qualify with a card that gives them up to 75% off their out of pocket cost. This offer cannot be combined with any other offers, such as rebates, free trials, or coupons.
However, the discount card can be used repeatedly throughout the year, with participants reapplying every calendar year.
Option #18: IVFAdvantage
This program, through Fertility Authority, is a package deal offering multiple IVF treatments for a discounted flat fee. Patients must receive these services at a Fertility Authority affiliated clinic.
The programs vary and there are several options. People may choose a package with two fresh cycles, or one with two fresh and two frozen cycles. This program covers not just the procedures in your treatment plan as well as the cost of pharmaceuticals needed for the IVF.
People who qualify will get low cost financing with up to 84 months to pay back their loan and no penalties for prepayment. People who qualify for IVFAdvantage are those who pay out of pocket for their in vitro fertilization and are using their own eggs.
In addition, people must be able to either qualify for financing or pay before treatment begins for the entire package.
Financing Option #19: Attain® IVF by Attain Fertility™ Centers
Like many of the programs listed here, Attain IVF Program offers a bundle of IVF services for a single low price. There are several different program options, all of which must be received at a fertility clinic that is within the Attain Fertility Centers network.
There are two main programs offered from Attain IVF: Attain IVF Multi-Cycle and Attain IVF Refund. Attain IVF Multi-Cycle offers six IVF cycles total, three fresh cycles and three frozen embryo transfers.
Attain IVF Refund offers the same number of cycles as the Attain IVF Multi-Cycle except that there is a refund if treatment does not result in a successful pregnancy.
The refund is 70% for patients who are using their own harvested eggs and up to 100% for cycles using donor eggs. This is one of the most successful of the package deal programs. Three-quarters of participants had a baby using Attain and only one quarter request a refund.
There are medical requirements to get this program, but they are not stringent. More than 75% of applicants are accepted into one of the two programs. There are also donor egg programs for people who likely will not be able to conceive using their own eggs.
Option #20: The IVF Financial Share Program
This is another package deal and refund program, with a few details that set it apart. The first distinction is that treatment must be received at an In Vitro Sciences Center of Excellence, which are available throughout the nation.
If the patient is accepted to this program, they will receive a discounted flat fee for up to three fresh and three frozen IVF cycles. If patients do not have a successful conception and pregnancy, they will receive up to a 70% discount.
There are a few requirements to qualify for this program; patients must be under the age of 38 unless they are using donor eggs. They need to submit an application as well as detail medical records showing they are a good candidate for in vitro fertilization.
People who choose this infertility payment option will need to either pay in advance for their treatment package or qualify for financing through Springstone Patient Financing.
Bonus IVF Financing Tip
While none of these programs will cover 100% of the costs of in vitro fertilization, they may together cover a large portion of it. People who successfully raise funds for IVF despite financial hardship usually do so by combining several different offers and then financing the rest.
Because not all of these offers can be used in tandem, you may need to run the numbers for a variety of different program combinations and see which is best for your unique situation.
In addition, you should begin taking steps to improve your credit rating as soon as possible, as many of the best financing options require good or excellent credit. No one will deny that IVF is expensive.
However, for many individuals and couples, it is the only way of achieving a pregnancy despite the challenges of PCOS. These financing options, especially when combined, can make IVF financially possible for many people who struggle to conceive.