I have friends who are experiencing infertility. I have seen how heartbreaking it is to want a baby so badly and not be able to have one easily when you see others around you doing so. Part of the problem is that terrible uncertainty around whether you’ll ever be able to have a biological child. Each month comes and goes and when nothing happens it’s devastating. What adds to the stress is the cost of dealing with infertility through methods like in vitro fertilization (IVF).
IVF Cost Breakdown
According to The American Society of Reproductive Medicine, the average cost of an IVF cycle is $12,400 in the U.S. As this is the average, your IVF cost can vary widely depending on factors like the medication you need to take, and where you live. If you need more than one cycle, that number could double or triple. Since the success of IVF is around 20%-40% there is a great likelihood that families will need more than one round. Oftentimes families have to give up on the dream of having biological children because IVF costs become too much.
How to Pay for IVF Costs
Before you give up, consider these options:
Check Your Insurance:
Some insurance plans provide some help in dealing with cost of IVF. While few plans will cover your full IVF costs, some do help by providing a few thousand dollars. While this often helps families pay for the first round of IVF, most plans don’t cover subsequent rounds.
Use a Health Spending Account:
Your IVF cost is an allowable expense with Health Spending Accounts (HSA). HSAs allow you to save a pre-tax portion of your income to pay for medical expenses. Speak to your employer about setting one up or use funds that you already have in one to pay for your expenses. You can also use your Flexible Spending Account.
Take a Deduction:
Keep your receipts for all your IVF costs because you can claim them on your tax return. If you have additional funds that you didn’t use your HSA to pay for (you can’t claim them twice), then make sure you claim them on your tax return. IVF costs can be claimed on form 1040 in Schedule A.
Go Someplace Cheaper:
The cost of IVF differs based on your location. Many U.S. patients travel to different parts of their state or the country in order to get cheaper IVF. But they should also consider travelling to other countries. IVF Abroad suggests a number of other countries to consider including the Czech Republic where it costs $6,700, and the UK or Canada where you’ll pay around $4,500-$6000.
Start a Crowdsourcing Campaign:
When you have infertility there are often a lot of people who feel your pain and want to help out. The problem is that they don’t know how. Some couples who are having a hard time affording the high cost of IVF decide to create a crowdfunding campaign at places like GoFundMe.
It turns out that there are scholarships out there to help pay for your family’s IVF cost. These are primarily for families for whom IVF costs would make the procedure prohibitive.
Get a Loan:
There are loans for IVF that can help you pay for the costs of treatment. While a loan can be hard to qualify for if you really need it, it might be a way to space out payments over a longer period of time.
IVF Refund Plan:
These plans are a kind of insurance against unsuccessful IVF treatments. Generally, you prepay for 2-3 cycles and you get a partial refund if you conceive the first time. If you don’t conceive any of the times, you might get a refund worth 70%-100% of the costs. This is a type of insurance where risk is shared.
Get Creative to Cover IVF Costs:
As IVF costs continues to balloon out of control, families will have to get creative to find a way to pay for them. Hopefully, these ideas help you come up with a way to cover your IVF cost.