Costs and Coverage

Getting an infertility diagnosis is the first hurdle but the second hurdle is almost as daunting: planning how to pay for fertility treatment. Unfortunately, the costs associated with diagnosing and treating infertility can be quite high and this can be a major concern for many who seek treatment.

Financial Planning While there are some organizations offering grants and assistance, such aid is limited and only available to those in need who qualify. The majority of patients will need to find other means of financing treatment. Some will tap family and friends for help, others will take on second jobs. When the market allows, families may decide to leverage their real estate, seeking financing through home equity loans or mortgage refinancing. Those with more substantial assets may even be able to obtain unsecured loans to cover pharmaceutical costs and infertility treatments. Whatever options are open to you, it's important to think things through carefully. Trying to have a child is an emotionally charged experience, and you?ll be making major financial decisions at the same time.

Insurance Coverage Luckily, some people who seek treatment find they live in a state which has mandated that health insurers cover diagnosis and treatment of infertility. But even when full treatment is not mandated, most medical insurance plans will cover some portion of the initial evaluation and testing. If you have health insurance, you may find you are covered for office visits, lab work such as blood tests or semen analysis and diagnostic radiology procedures such as ultrasounds. Often, however, health insurance plans that will cover diagnostics will not cover the fertility treatments themselves. When plans do cover fertility treatments, they may support only certain types of treatments. Plans that provide comprehensive coverage of advanced fertility treatments like in vitro fertilization (IVF) are relatively rare. Your doctor's office or clinic may be able to help you estimate what level of benefits you can expect, but you should check with your health insurance provider directly to confirm what is and isn't covered. Many plans have treatment prerequisites, age requirements and lifetime maximums.

Cost Comparisons The cost of fertility testing and treatment can vary quite a bit depending on what type of care you need and where you're being treated. Costs for the same services can be very different in different geographic areas, reflecting the amount of competition in the area. Markets where there are more fertility doctors and clinics are more competitive and may offer more affordability. Some fertility clinics will also suggest cost-saving options when appropriate. Another thing to keep in mind as you research treatment costs and explore different treatment options is the success rate of different treatments. Some options that appear to be less expensive, for example, may also be less effective. It's best to consider your particular circumstances and how successful the treatment has proved to be for others in your situation. Also, don't forget you may end up doing several rounds of fertility treatment. This can be a significant factor in estimating the total cost of treatment.