Undergoing infertility treatments, while it may seem like your only option if you and your spouse are struggling to have your own baby, can be very expensive. While many alternative treatments and less invasive and technical ART treatments are more affordable, many treatments, such as the ever-popular in-vitro fertilization (IVF), can cost couples $10,000 or more a round, and it often takes couples two or three rounds before they become pregnant. Because normal insurance companies don’t offer infertility insurance in most states, many couples are turning to alternative solutions, most of which are being offered by individual clinics and doctors around the country.
Insurance for Infertility
There are many different types of insurance for infertility floating about these days, but one is like your standard health insurance plan, but it covers infertility, unlike most plans. You already know how a basic insurance plan works: you pay a premium each month, and then the insurance provider covers a certain percentage or dollar amount of each treatment. An insurance plan like this can certainly simplify paying for your infertility treatments, but be sure to weigh the costs before you actually buy into a plan. Because infertility procedures have a high risk of failure and a high repeat rate, your insurance company is likely to charge very high premiums for this insurance.
You can get financing for everything these days, and infertility treatments are no different. Many couples choose to finance infertility treatments on their own by using credit cards, which most clinics accept, or even by taking out second mortgages on their homes. If you aren’t able to do either of these things, though, you may be able to finance your treatments either through a clinic or through a third-party company. Ask around at different clinics, and you may be able to find one that offers a package and financing so that you can pay for the cost over a period of months or years instead of all at once.
The good part about financing your infertility treatments is that you can begin them before you have all the money together. The bad part is the same as it is with any other type of financing. It could be years before you pay off the balance of your infertility treatment. You need to think about if you don’t end up getting pregnant, whether you would rather have that money to adopt, and if you do end up getting pregnant, whether you can afford the extra monthly cost of your infertility financing along with the extra costs a baby brings.
Shared Risk Programs
Shared risk programs may be some of the most interesting and innovative programs for helping couples spend less on infertility treatments. Most of these programs are for IVF treatments, and you will basically pay up front – or finance – three to four rounds of IVF. If after the first round you have a baby, the clinic will keep all of your money, but if after the last round you don’t have a baby, you’ll get some of your money back.
These programs can be good for couples who want to adopt if they don’t get pregnant, but they do come with some risks. For instance, some clinics only offer this program to women under the age of 35, who are more likely to get pregnant. And others who offer this program are more likely to implant multiple eggs on the first round of IVF, raising their chances of a bonus but also raising the chances of a dangerous multiple birth.
What’s Best for You?
No one else can decide what insurance or payment program is best for you and your partner, but the two of you need to take some serious time to discuss your options. Before you begin the emotional roller coaster that is infertility treatments, you need to decide how far you’ll go, how much you’ll spend, and when you’ll say enough is enough and fall back on other options. All the options, though, mean that everyone can afford to try to have a baby, so don’t give up hope even if it feels like you’ll never have the money to undergo ART.