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Fertility Treatment Costs in Atlanta
The costs associated with the diagnosis and treatment of infertility for Atlanta fertility patients can be extremely high. Fortunately there are some financial options that may lessen the burden for women and men trying to conceive. Ask your Atlanta fertility clinic what options they are offering to help with the cost of fertility treatment.
IVF Refund Programs/Money Back Guarantees
An Atlanta fertility clinic may allow the patient to prepay a certain number of in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles. If the patient is unsuccessful after a certain number of attempts, then she may receive some or all of her money back. In a typical refund program, a clinic will require a patient to prepay three IVF cycles, and if treatment is unsuccessful, 70 percent to 100 percent of the cost may be refunded.
For example, the Atlanta Center for Reproductive Medicine (ACRM) works with The Attain IVF Refund Program by IntegraMed. Couples who are recommended to undergo IVF and qualify for this program pay a flat fee to IntegraMed for up to six treatment cycles (three fresh IVF and three frozen embryo transfers) for a fixed, discounted fee. If the Atlanta couple does not take a baby home from the hospital, the program offers a refund of 70 percent of the Program fee.
Georgia Reproductive Specialists offers an IVF Shared-Risk Financial Program to couples who are considered good candidates for IVF after completing a full medical screening. In the event treatments have been unsuccessful, the couple will be refunded the fee less the specified non-refundable enrollment fee.
Emory Healthcare Reproductive Center and Reproductive Biology Associates partner with ARC, a national network of fertility centers to offer multi-cycle package pricing for fertility treatments and IVF refund programs.
IVF refund programs may be a good option for some, but there are often age limitations, and couples requiring intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) or donor eggs will be charged higher fees. Also, if a couple is successful in having a baby after the first or second attempt, the fertility clinic keeps the remainder of the fee; therefore that Atlanta couple has paid more for their baby than they would have with traditional fee-for-service care.
Some clinics specifically offer low-cost treatment plans, such as micro-IVF or in vitro maturation. A program may use lower doses of medications during stimulation to cut down on drug costs and monitoring costs. (Lower doses of medication reduce the chance of ovarian hyperstimulation and thus allow for less monitoring via ultrasounds and blood tests.) Also, egg retrieval can be done without sedation if the woman produces fewer eggs on these lower doses of medication. Other low-cost plans achieve savings by scheduling a large group of patients to undergo their IVF cycles at the same time. Drugs, including birth control pills, may be used to synchronize the cycles of those participating. Also, there is less blood and ultrasound monitoring since the retrieval date has been preset for the group.
While these methods may be less expensive, the savings may be achieved at the cost of the patient. Insufficient monitoring and a less individualized approach may compromise the health of the patient and the success of the cycle. Ask your Atlanta fertility clinic if any of these options may be right for you.
IVF Research Programs
Participating in an IVF research program in Atlanta can reduce costs. However, there are often many health and age requirements to qualify for a study, and engaging in anything experimental may come with risks. Be sure to investigate thoroughly any research program you consider participating in. There are currently several clinical trials in Atlanta that are related to fertility and infertility.
Unsecured loans are available to cover infertility treatment and pharmaceutical costs. Several Atlanta fertility clinics work with organizations such as CapexMD, Medical Financing, Med Loan Finance and Attain IVF to offer financing to Atlanta infertility patients.
There are also some organizations that offer grants and assistance to those in need if they qualify. Some patients will take other steps such as refinancing their mortgage, securing home-equity loans or using credit cards to pay for treatment. Some will take on second jobs or ask friends or family for help. Each method presents its own challenges, and must be analyzed carefully.
Standard Health Insurance
Some states in the United States have laws that that require insurance coverage for fertility treatment; however, Georgia law does not mandate your insurance company to cover fertility evaluation or treatment. Coverage for infertility treatment varies from plan to plan and from insurance company to insurance company. Research what your insurance plan covers in terms of evaluation and treatment of infertility, either online or by calling the insurer or benefits representative before your first visit to a fertility clinic.