The cost of IVF treatments in the US isn’t cheap, and most people don’t consider it affordable, especially if their insurance plan doesn’t cover infertility treatments. How much does IVF cost?
According to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, the average cost of IVF in the United States is $12,400 for a single cycle of in vitro fertilization, but how much you actually pay depends on whether your insurance company covers infertility, and the amounts of your co-pay and deductible.
Your total cost should include the price of the entire procedure, including the blood work, fertility drugs, ultrasound procedures, hormone monitoring, egg retrieval, embryology lab work and embryo transfer.
When you ask your fertility clinic to quote their price, make sure you ask exactly what they include and what options they consider “extra”. Some clinics may quote you a low price for a round in vitro fertilization, but not include the cost of medications or lab work.
And since the causes of infertility are different for everyone, many people need more than just the IVF procedure by itself. “Extras” like ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) where a single sperm is injected into a egg before being transferred back into a woman’s body, come at an additional cost.
Fertility treatments not included in the base price of IVF:
- ICSI – about $1000-1500
- Assisted hatching
- IUI (intrauterine injection) – $275-$2500
- PGD (pre-implantation diagnosis) – $3200-3600
- Egg donation
- Sperm donation
- Gestational/traditional surrogacy
Does your health insurance plan cover infertility treatments?
The single biggest determinant of how much you pay out-of-pocket is your health insurance plan. If you don’t know whether your policy covers infertility, you need to find out right away. Policies vary in what procedures they cover, how many cycles you’re allowed to start, and the amount of your out-of-pocket deductible. If yours pays for infertility treatments, you could get virtually-free IVF, or at least a steep discount.
If it doesn’t, and you are to forced to pay out-of-pocket, you still have some options, but you could be facing a tough financial burden. You’ll need to plan a household budget to see if your family can afford IVF. Keep in mind there are other ways of having a baby.
Health care reform and infertility treatments
The 2010 Affordable Care Act reformed the US health care system. In addition to requiring everyone to have insurance, it also restricted how private insurance companies could treat patients. However, it didn’t require insurance companies to pay for infertility treatments. Fourteen states do have laws requiring insurers to cover the diagnosis and treatment of infertility.
Infertility insurance coverage is required in these states:
- New Jersey
- New York
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
Loans and financing programs
Many fertility centers offer loan programs to help patients afford to pay the costs of treatment. If you can’t afford treatments on your own, this may be a viable way of financing them. Check with several clinics to see what they offer.
IVF refund programs
IVF refund programs are different. They require you to pay a set fee upfront–usually between $20,000 and $35,000–in exchange for three or four IVF attempts. If you fail to get pregnant by the final attempt, they refund part of your money. The terms of each clinic’s refund program are different, so read the contracts carefully.
Overseas fertility clinics
According to a study published by the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology of 11 industrialized democratic countries, the U.S. has the highest prices for infertility treatments in the world. Patients in Canada, the UK, Australia, Sweden, Finland, Japan, France, the Netherlands, and Belgium all pay less than Americans.
Because countries in Europe, Asia, South America and Africa offer dramatically lower prices for medical care, many Americans choose to travel abroad for assisted reproduction treatments. Popular destinations include the Czech Republic, Spain, and Thailand.
Other expenses you should plan to budget for:
- Acupuncture visits
- Hypnosis sessions
- Supplements and vitamins to enhance male and female fertility
How much were your total costs for IVF treatment? Let us know in the comments below.