Can I Afford Fertility Treatment?

The first thing many people wonder when they consider fertility treatment is the cost — can I afford this, and is it worth it? Deciding to start a family or welcome a new family member is a big decision, and when fertility treatment becomes a necessity in the process, it can feel discouraging. But, as advancements in fertility treatment occur, the price tag of fertility medications and procedures isn’t as steep as it once was. If you’re wondering how much fertility treatment costs, and how you can pay for it, read on.

How much do fertility medications cost?

In most fertility treatment cases, medications such as Clomid, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), or follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) are utilized. The cost of these medications varies based on what is prescribed by your fertility specialist, the dosage, and the length of time you’ll need to use it. Oral medications, such as Clomid, often cost up to $20 per month, and are often not prescribed for more than six months.

For fertility patients who are using Clomid or oral medications combined with ultrasound monitoring or intrauterine insemination (IUI), you can expect to pay upwards of $500 per month — though this figure can decrease if your insurance provider offers fertility treatment coverage.

When it comes to the cost of injectable hormones — also known as gonadotropins — the average monthly cost is $2,500. Injectable hormones may also require medical supplies such as needles and syringes, which may or not be included in the cost of the medication.

How much do IVF and other treatments cost?

While it’s hard to say definitively what fertility treatments such as IVF cost, you can start with the national average as a baseline. According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), the average cost of one IVF cycle is around $12,400. But, because each fertility case is different, this price can heavily fluctuate, especially based on where you live.

Frozen embryo transfer is often considered because it allows you to store embryos from the IVF process and use them later on if you need them. On average, this procedure costs around $2,500.

Some individuals and couples choose to use donated egg or sperm when seeking help through IVF, and although the word “donated” makes it seem as if this a less expensive option, that’s not necessarily accurate. You can expect an average of $300 to $500 per vial of donated sperm. For donated eggs, you can pay as much as $25,000 per IVF cycle.

Will insurance cover my fertility treatments?

Unfortunately, there’s no definitive answer simply because insurance coverage for fertility medications and treatments greatly varies based on the kind of insurance you have. In the U.S., 15 states require health insurance companies to offer some kind of fertility treatment coverage, though if you receive health insurance through your employer, there may be additional barriers to coverage. It never hurts to contact your insurance provider and see what fertility treatment benefits are offered as you begin to seek fertility help.

Even if your insurance provider doesn’t offer fertility treatment benefits, you may be able to use Health Savings Account (HSA) or flexible-spending account (FSA) funds towards the cost of your treatments. This can reduce your out-of-pocket cost.

How can I reduce the cost of fertility treatment?

The cost of fertility treatment can give you some sticker shock, but there are ways to help lower the price. Consider these strategies:

Shop around: If you’re utilizing fertility drugs, shop around for the best price among pharmacies. Mail order pharmacies can often give you a better price than brick-and-mortar pharmacies, which can help you save substantially. You should also consider this strategy when it comes to selecting a fertility specialist or clinic, though remember that choosing a fertility treatment provider based solely on price isn’t the best idea.

Participate in a study: Some fertility clinics offer discounts on treatment if you are a candidate for an in-the-works study. Not only will you be able to save money, but you may be able to help others down the line when it comes to knowing more about fertility treatment options.

Get an itemized bill: Just like any other service you’d pay for, it’s okay to ask exactly how the bill for your fertility treatments breaks down. From here, you can negotiate with the fertility clinic, and you may even come across services that you don’t need. Don’t be charged for services that don’t want or need — nix them from the bill.

Set up a payment plan: Fertility clinics and specialists know that the cost of treatment can be steep, so don’t be afraid to ask about payment plans and options. You may find that there is assistance offered on a sliding income scale, or based on your unique situation. Even setting up a payment plan can help relieve the stress associated with IVF and fertility treatment costs.

Seek out grants: Various organizations — such as the International Council on Infertility Information Dissemination and the Footsteps For Fertility Foundation — offer grants, scholarships, and discount programs that can help with the costs of fertility treatment. Awards range in amount, but can be an option to help offset some treatment-related expenses.