A major obstacle for many couples considering IVF is the cost. Here are some options you may not know of that would help with the cost of IVF treatment.
IVF Research Trials for Free or Inexpensive Treatment
Some infertility clinics have IVF research or treatment trials that receive IVF funding and grants. Research your area or online to see if there are any you qualify for. You will want to do your research on the fertility clinic to make sure that it is reputable, as well as check out the facility to make sure the staff is friendly and the rooms and equipment are clean. An IVF trial will be inexpensive, and you may even able to get free IVF treatment.
Find an Infertility Clinic That Does Shared IVF Cycles
A shared IVF cycle is where two women go through the first part of the IVF process at the same time, then one woman donates some of her eggs to another woman who cannot use her own eggs in exchange for a reduced rate determined by the fertility clinic. You could save up to 50% on your IVF costs. The only negative with this is that you may end up not having any eggs to freeze if your cycle isn't successful.
Find a Infertility Clinic That Does Shared Donor Egg Cycles
With a shared donor egg cycle, two or three women share a donor's eggs, and they all share in the cost of the IVF treatment. The only negative to this is if the donor doesn't have enough eggs for a shared cycle.
Consider Undergoing IVF Treatment Outside the US
IVF costs outside the United States can be significantly lower. IVF treatment is cheaper in many countries, including most of Europe, Asia, and Mexico. Costs can be as low as $5,000 and there are excellent doctors, facilities, and treatments abroad.However, you need to do your research to determine exactly what is covered in the price of the treatment, just as you would do for treatment in the US, as well as take into consideration the cost of travel and room and board while you are there. Additionally, if you are unable to travel, you can also look into getting your IVF medications abroad. This could also reduce the cost of your IVF treatment.
Find a Fertility Clinic that has a Refund or Shared Risk Program
A refund or shared risk program is a prepayment plan where you would get a partial or full refund if a pregnancy (or in some cases, a live birth) does not come out of your IVF treatment. You would pay a flat fee up front for a certain number of IVF cycles. If you don't get pregnant after your cycles, you will get 70-100% of your payment back. There are some limitations depending on the fertility clinic's policies in terms of age and services covered.
Consider Mini IVF
The only difference with Mini IVF is the drug and hormone regimen that take place first. There are less drugs used for ovary stimulation. With Mini IVF, less but more high quality eggs are produced. The rest of the IVF process is the same in that the woman is monitored throughout the drug regimen process, and egg retrieval, embryo fertilization and embryo transfer all take place, just like in traditional IVF. The costs of Mini IVF are significantly lower, costing $3,500 to $7,000 per cycle instead of $12,000- $15,000 per cycle.
Check Your Insurance Plan
Check to see if your insurance company covers any costs of fertility treatment. Some insurance companies do cover some, if not all of in vitro fertilization treatment. 15 states actually require insurance companies to have some sort of IVF coverage, usually in the form of infertility diagnosis and treatment. The states are: Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas and West Virginia.
I hope this has given you a starting point in finding ways to make IVF treatment affordable for you. There are low cost IVF options out there, you just need to know where to look to find the option that works best for you.