Five Actions to Help You Afford Fertility Treatment
So you’re under 35 and you’ve been TTC for a year without success, you’re 35 to 38 years old and have tried for six months, or 39 or older and have tried for three months. Or maybe you’re a same-sex couple who wants to have a baby. You’re thinking it’s time to explore fertility treatment. You really want to start a family. You feel it in your heart and in your bones, this is the right time. But you’ve heard that IVF and other fertility treatments can cost thousands of dollars.
The average cost of an IVF cycle in the United States is $12,400, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), and it’s not clear if that includes the cost of fertility medications. These are required for treatment and may run from $4,000 to $10,000 per cycle. Use of donor sperm, donor eggs or a gestational carrier, if needed, would have additional costs.
What can you do to get the baby you want, and not go bankrupt? Here are some important areas to consider when you’re ready to finance fertility treatment.
1) Go to the Experts
Consult a reproductive endocrinologist to find out exactly what treatment you need and get an accurate estimate of the costs. A fertility specialist can save you precious time and money by focusing on what you need and not pursuing treatments which may be ineffective if you have undiagnosed fertility problems. Cut to the chase. Don’t lose any more time.
2) Really Investigate Your Health Insurance Coverage
It’s true that most states do not mandate coverage of fertility treatment. However, even if you live in a state without mandated coverage, your health insurance may cover some aspects of treatment such as diagnostic testing and office visits. Read your insurance plan carefully and ask the financial counselor at your fertility center for help. The following states mandate at least some level of coverage for fertility treatment, according to RESOLVE, the National Infertility Association: Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas, and West Virginia.
3) Consider Using an Online Pharmacy
Your fertility clinic will have a pharmacy to supply the fertility medications you need for treatment. If you want to consider using an online pharmacy, make sure you choose one in the United States, where medications are monitored and laws are enforced to protect your safety. A legitimate online pharmacy in the U.S. will require a prescription from your doctor, has a licensed pharmacist available to answer questions and is a National Boards of Pharmacy Internet Verified Pharmacy to ensure product safety and reliability. Online ordering can be efficient and cost-effective, but be sure to read the fine print. There may be additional costs. www.WINFertilityRx.com provides fertility Medication Bundles that offer everyday savings of up to 40% off other retail and specialty pharmacies and all medications are shipped through Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy.
4) Be a Smart Shopper
Your local pharmacy or big-box-store pharmacy probably does not carry many fertility drugs other than clomiphene citrate (Clomid or Serophene). But you may want to check their lists of cheap generics for prenatal vitamins, estrogen, progesterone or other drugs your fertility doctor may prescribe. These may be less expensive from a big, discounted pharmacy.
Coupons for medications are sometimes available from the manufacturers. Look for them online.
5) Only Pay for the Treatment You Need
When you start investigating means to finance the costs which your health insurance doesn’t cover, you can consider your personal savings. If you need additional financing, the financial counselor at your fertility clinic will have a number of different options. Offers include medical financing loans and discounted treatment plans. Be sure to read the fine print carefully! Some plans require you to pay for multiple IVF cycles in order to get discounted treatment. Other plans don’t cover the cost of fertility medications, which tend to be a substantial part of the cost of treatment.