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IVF Refund Programs
As you investigate your options for paying for fertility treatment, be sure to check out any in vitro fertilization IVF refund programs your fertility clinic may provide.
What Is an IVF Refund Plan?
Depending on your situation, IVF refund programs may offer a way to defray fertility treatment costs. Many fertility clinics have developed IVF refund programs that are, in essence, prepayment plans that allow for partial refunds or complete money-back guarantees should your fertility treatments not be successful. Such guarantees can be an important factor when you’re trying to make sound financial decisions.
IVF refund programs are an alternative to a traditional “fee for service” model. Although they can lower the cost of IVF treatment, they are best understood as a form of insurance — a way to ameliorate financial risk. Often these types of arrangements are characterized as “shared risk” plans, meaning that you are sharing the financial risk of your IVF cycles with the fertility clinic.
With an IVF refund plan, a fertility clinic offers you the opportunity to pay a flat fee upfront for a specific number of IVF cycles. Typically there is some type of partial refund or money-back guarantee if no pregnancy results. Some fertility clinics extend this type of guarantee to cycles using donor eggs. And some extend the terms even further: A successful outcome is not defined as achieving a pregnancy — it is defined as having a live birth.
Will an IVF Refund Plan Save Me Money?
A typical IVF refund plan might require you to prepay for three IVF cycles, but will refund 70 to 100 percent of the fertility treatment cost if treatment is unsuccessful after three cycles. So if you do get pregnant on the first IVF cycle, you might end up having paid more than you might have for one cycle, but if it turns out you don’t get pregnant until the third IVF cycle, then you might end up saving some money. More importantly, if you aren’t successful at all, then it’s the fertility clinic that bears the majority of the fertility treatment cost. The fertility clinic may even have to refund your entire prepayment amount if the plan included a 100 percent money-back guarantee.
Obviously, the cost savings you realize with this type of shared risk arrangement can vary quite a bit, depending on how many cycles it takes for you to become pregnant. It could result in modest savings, or it could turn out to be a major discount.
The kind of savings you can achieve will also vary depending on your particular fertility treatment needs. An IVF refund program may offer less of a discount; for example, if you’re older, need donor eggs or require more advanced assisted reproductive techniques such as intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). You may also find that there are age limits to participation in these IVF plans.
Oftentimes, those most in need of an IVF Refund program will not qualify for one.. and those that do often should consider a multi-cycle package instead or pay for single cycle treatments.