The cost of infertility treatments can be sizable, depending on what tests and procedures you decide to pursue, whether you have health insurance and whether that health insurance will cover some or all of the bill. Many major fertility centers offer financial counseling services for their patients, ranging from help deciphering health insurance benefits to explaining options outside of the benefits package. Let's look first at health insurance benefits.
When it comes to insurance, it's really a hit or miss coverage situation. Many major health insurance plans offer coverage for your initial consultation and workup, including diagnostic testing, but when it comes to the fertility care itself -- whether it's medications or assisted reproductive technologies (ART) -- health insurance coverage can significantly differ from plan to plan. Some cover nothing, while some may go as far as offering out-of-network benefits. Some plans may cover your medications, diagnostic testing and treatments. It's important to look carefully at your benefit offerings or speak to a customer service representative for your health insurance provider to be sure you fully understand what is and isn't covered before you begin.
Some fertility centers offer shared risk programs, also known as baby guarantee programs. These programs are usually available for couples interested in in vitro fertilization (IVF), and they allow qualifying patients to secure fixed-cost pricing for a certain number of treatment cycles. Just how expensive are infertility treatments? At the Washington Fertility Center outside of Washington, D.C., for example, one cycle of IVF costs roughly $8,000. The center also has a three-for-two option, at nearly $16,000, and a baby guarantee or your money back program for just under $20,000 (which includes up to as many as six fresh embryo transfers or unlimited frozen embryo transfers). These costs don't cover diagnostic testing, medications, anesthesiology services or any additional lab services.
Alternative to health insurance, or in addition to it if yours doesn't cover everything, are loans. Some couples choose to use their credit cards or, if they're homeowners, home equity (either a home equity loan or line of credit) to cover treatment costs. Fertility loans (or infertility loans as they're sometimes called) that are unsecured lines of credit are another option, as are grants and scholarships.
For more information about infertility support, move on to the next page.