Infertility Financing: 5 Tips
Infertility diagnosis and treatment can come at a high price. Like Gloria Gaynor sings in her disco hit, "I Will Survive," you will survive paying for infertility treatment. Let us teach you how.
Tip 1: Consider changing your insurance plan
According to RESOLVE, the National Infertility Association, only 1 in 5 employers offer infertility insurance benefits to their workers. This leaves millions of Americans paying for fertility treatments on their own.
Are you one of the millions that are not covered by infertility insurance? Maybe you can switch plans. Some employers offer several insurance plan options to their workers. If you are employed, ask your benefits representative if any of your company's insurance plans cover infertility treatment.
If you are uninsured and fall into the low or middle income tax brackets, you may soon qualify for subsidies to help you pay for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
Tip 2: Be thorough in your research
Let's say that you find an insurer that covers infertility treatment. Ask questions, understand exactly what is covered, and find out what you will owe. Ask your insurance provider if they:
- Have any age restrictions
- Exclude specific tests or procedures
- Cover all infertility diagnostic tests, treatments, and procedures, or just a few
- Offer different rates or coverage for female vs. male infertility procedures
- Require referrals or pre-certifications
- Have any lifetime or calendar year maximums
- Limit you to a certain number of in vitro fertilization (IVF) attempts
- Limit you to a certain number of attempts for other procedures
- Cover donor sperm, donor egg, or cryopreservation (freezing) services
- Restrict you to seeing specific fertility specialists, hospitals, or fertility centers
Each insurance company addresses infertility coverage differently, and you should find out what your benefits are before you begin treatment.
Tip 3: Know your financing options
What if you lack health insurance for infertility services, or can't change insurance plans? Financial assistance might be out there. If you try the above, and money is still tight, consider the following possibilities when financing fertility treatment. Here are some strategies to help you afford care:
- Borrow money from friends and family members.
- Charge the balance on a low-interest credit card.
- Pre-pay for services at a reduced rate (like the Attain IVF plan).
- Take advantage of infertility grants to help cover the cost of treatment.
If you live in an area with many fertility centers, prices for fertility services may actually be lower than other areas in the country. Keep that in mind as you shop around for a fertility clinic.
Tip 4: Get politically active
It seems unfair that insurers are not required to offer infertility treatment coverage. With most of the public supporting insurance coverage of infertility treatment, we hope that more coverage is extended soon. To speed things up, consider the following:
- Be an advocate for change; Get a group of friends together and take action.
- Visit RESOLVE's website to get the latest news on advocacy events around the nation.
- Contacting your political representatives. The Dirksen Congressional Center, a nonprofit organization, has some easy tips on how to contact your member of Congress or your Senator. Express your views!
Tip 5: Talk to a financial planner
Financial planners offer expertise to help you identify ways to save, plan, and pay for infertility treatments. Ask friends or family for recommendations on who you should see.