The steep price of fertility treatments can lead to some difficult decisions, particularly as couples weigh their finances against their desire for a bigger family. The list of factors to consider is substantial, as is the list of costs, but that shouldn’t deter every couple or individual.
Covering every detail here would be impractical, but we have the most important points to consider. Find out what you need to know before you begin funding a fertility journey.
So, the first detail you find out is that your health coverage rarely guarantees access to affordable fertility treatments. Both private insurance and Medicaid are unlikely to cover the costs, even partially, associated with infertility.
This lack of coverage means that heterosexual couples grappling with infertility, adults choosing to become single parents and same-sex couples exploring their options to have a family are going to be financially responsible for services such as intrauterine insemination (IUI), in vitro fertilization (IVF) and surrogacy.
Infertility coverage by state
As of 2020, several states have stepped up to the plate with better coverage options. The following 17 states are known to offer some help with financial support for fertility procedures: Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas and West Virginia.
Before you make an insurance selection during open enrollment, research your plan options based on whether you anticipate getting fertility services in the coming year. If possible, time the start of your fertility journey based on your new coverage to reduce potentially avoidable expenses.
Several variables go into fertility costs, making it impossible to give a blanket estimate for pricing. For a general idea, however, here are some real-life pricing examples:
- In Foster City, California, conventional IVF or IVF with a frozen donor egg costs between $9,300 and $9,700. IVF using a delayed transfer, fresh donor eggs or a surrogate is listed at $14,840.
- Intrauterine insemination at a clinic in Syracuse, New York, costs $700 to $825 for monitoring and another $325 for the procedure. At this same clinic, “affordable IVF cycles” start at $3,900. The cost of egg freezing is $1,900, followed by $350 per year for storage.
- You’ll pay $250 for an initial consultation and $150 for semen analysis in Middleton, Wisconsin. An IUI with fresh sperm is $350 and costs $275 with frozen sperm. Conventional IVF is listed at $9,020.
You may find other services, including “frozen embryo thawing and transfer plus embryo assisted hatching,” which runs about $5,000 in Annandale, Virginia. While some clinics list prices as a package deal, others break down the costs and services a la carte.
For a little added reassurance, advantage programs at certain clinics offer a partial refund when fertility treatments do not result in pregnancy.
In 25 percent of cases, more than one factor causes infertility. Costs build up when couples require multiple tests and treatments for both partners. Blood labs, genetic testing, imaging, semen analysis, egg or sperm freezing, and surgery may be some of the potential line items on your future fertility bill.
Aside from the cost of the main procedure, couples should also consider the costs of initial testing and medication, as well as the price of monitoring and follow-up care. Package deals can make it easier to anticipate for your budget. More often than not, though, several rounds of fertility treatments are required to achieve a successful outcome, and the costs associated with that can be difficult to anticipate.
The clinic can advise you on success rates based on age and physical condition, and you should carefully research these statistics when you’re evaluating your fertility costs.
Explore the possibilities
Don’t let the estimated costs of fertility treatments scare you away from taking that first step. If you’re determined to embark on a fertility journey, start by calling your health insurance company and researching fertility clinics in your area.
Because cost is such a prominent concern, most fertility clinics begin with a consultation to discuss pricing before moving forward with the process. Low- or even no-interest payment plans are usually available to finance testing, treatment and monitoring. Keep in mind that various fertility treatments are available at different price points, and there may be more than one way to reach your goal.
Furthermore, you’ll find that fertility clinics vary significantly as to which tests they require and how much they’ll charge. Educate yourself on the process by asking questions and learning the rationale for the services recommended.
The fertility journey is a marathon, not a sprint. Take sufficient time to weigh your options before you decide on the right path for you and your soon-to-be growing family.