Going through fertility treatments can be a stressful time, and one of the reasons contributing to that stress is financial concerns. That’s because fertility treatments aren’t cheap. According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the average cost for an IVF cycle is $12,000. Plus, more than one cycle is often necessary.
The costs of fertility treatment vary across the country, with the cost of in vitro fertilization (IVF) averaging around $12,400 per cycle, and intrauterine insemination averaging around $1,000 per cycle. IVF costs range from $7,000 upwards of $13,000 in New York City. However, this cost can fluctuate based on the cost of additional procedures like intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) or preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), fertility drug costs, fees associated with donor eggs or donor sperm, and any laboratory or facility fees. Fortunately for fertility patients in New York City, New York is one of 15 states with mandated infertility insurance coverage. There are also financing options to offset costs not covered by insurance.
Chad and Shannon Elbert had invested thousands of dollars into their first in vitro fertilization cycle when her doctor canceled the procedure in October 2009. Her body hadn’t produced as many egg follicles as hoped. At this point, the Hope, N.D, couple had already gone through nine rounds of artificial insemination coupled with fertility medication. When they were able to complete a cycle in May 2010, Elbert had reached the lifetime maximum for infertility coverage on her health insurance plan. With help from their families, they paid $16,000 out of pocket.
Today, couples who may never have become parents a generation ago have the wonders of technology to help them. But because most insurance does not cover fertility treatments, a big barrier remains: money. From a cluttered home office in Northern Virginia, The International Council on Infertility Information Dissemination (INCIID) is a group that helps. Couples apply for an IVF scholarship, and INCIID matches them with fertility clinics.
So, what were we talking about? Oh right. How I'm perhaps a mite disproportionately bitter about the changing of the clocks/losing an hour sleep debacle ... And how many infertile-related hours in our lives we would like to have back.
Okay, Rule No. 1 — Don't argue with anyone whose fingerprints can be found on your ovaries. Seriously. Do you really want to irritate someone who probes your vital organs and a few non-vital ones on a bi-weekly basis?
(Obviously I violated Rule No. 1 or this post would end here.)
Some fertility drug companies offer programs to reduce the cost of meds
Three major fertility drug companies — EMD Serono, Ferring Pharmaceuticals, and Schering-Plough — offer special programs that lessen the cost of many of the most common medications used in fertility treatments today.
So you’ve mustered the courage to see a fertility doctor, had your blood drawn and your HSG. The dreaded semen sample has been produced and analyzed (on demand in that room no one likes to discuss), and the decision has been made. You will be using injectable fertility drugs, and you will learn how to do your own injections.
Many couples expect the emotional and physical stress associated with infertility, but they don't take the financial implications as seriously, says Nicole Witt, one of the local leaders of Resolve, an infertility support group. And it's one of the most significant investments they'll make.
Putting it into perspective, she says, "You take out a $25,000 loan for a car, so why not do it for a baby?"