Discount your Follistim injection costs even without insurance that covers infertility. Take advantage of insurance laws, leverage the tax code, and make a smart bet based upon your projected success rate.
Follicle stimulating hormone (Follistim AQ) is used to help women develop and release mature eggs for use in artificial reproductive techniques. It is also used by men to improve sperm production.
Spending for this fertility drug is often just the tip of the iceberg for couples trying to conceive. Along with taking Follistim, you may be taking other fertility medications, and undergoing other artificial reproductive procedures.
- Average costs without insurance – Tips for finding infertility and IVF health insurance coverage
- How to discount expenses by 1/3 using the tax code – Tax deductibility of infertility treatments and how to leverage your flexible spending account
- How to refund spending with supplemental insurance – Earn a return by successfully getting pregnant and delivering a baby
Insurance Covering Infertility – Many couples taking Follistim and other fertility drugs do so as part of an In Vitro Fertilization procedure. In most cases insurance provides little or no coverage, and couples must pay the entire amount out of pocket. Learn the tricks for finding coverage, and find alternatives in case you can’t.
Supplemental Maternity Insurance - Remember why you are taking Follistim when considering what you have to spend. You are trying to conceive, and a successful outcome results in pregnancy. During pregnancy and after childbirth mom may stop working. This drop in earnings may be the biggest cost of using any infertility procedure. Also, extra medical expenses often creep in as well. Offset these added expenses with coverage that makes payments directly to you, with no waiting periods or deductibles.
Average Price of Follistim
Follistim prices and costs will vary based upon how you intend to use the drug therapy. For patients taking the hormone because they are unable to ovulate, lower doses are needed. An initial dose of 75 IU may be taken for up to 14 days. At the price of about $100 per vial, your costs are already at $1,400 for the first round of treatment.
Dosage may increase after the first two weeks by 50 IU per week, and prices climb in tandem. The maximum dose of a Follistim is 300 IU which is priced at $400 for a cartridge. Your weekly cost has now climbed to $2,800. Once your serum estradiol is greater than 2000 pg/ml you may then begin taking a second drug. Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) may be an additional expenditure.
Follistim may also be taken to stimulate follicles as part of an Artificial Reproductive Technique (ART) such as IVF or IUI. Dosage levels are higher when part of an In Vitro Fertilization cycle, but it is taken fewer times helping to moderate spending.
Follistim AQ Side Effects
Follistim side effects range from mild to severe. Patients experiencing one or more of these side effects may stumble across a hidden cost: extra medical expenses, and lost income. Some of the most common side effects include:
- Back Pain
- Breast cancer – abnormal cell growth may be enhanced
- Joint pain and swelling
- Mood swings
- Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS)
- Redness or pain at the injection site
- Weight gain or loss – new clothing may add to your expenditure
- Yeast infection
Any of these symptoms may become serious enough to stop you from working. You may be on the sideline for a day, a week, or a month. Lost income is rare but important cost to consider. Since you are injecting Follistim AQ in order to get pregnant, make sure you purchase short term disability insurance. Your income will be secure if side effects impact your income, and the policy covers your maternity leave – which is like getting a big discount on your premium costs.
The most significant and expensive side effect of Follistim is multiple births: twins, triplets, quads. Multiple pregnancies are often high risk, and deliver preterm. That may mean unexpected medical expenses, additional lost income, and a big hospital bill if your preemies spend time in the NICU. Hospital indemnity insurance is a great way to offset these hidden costs.
Discount Follistim by 1/3 Using the Tax Code
Discount your Follistim and other infertility treatment costs by 1/3 or with pre-tax dollars. You can use your employer’s Flexible Spending Account (FSA) to cut your Follistim prices, and provide you with interest free infertility & IVF financing at the same time. Read below to learn more.
Your Follistim costs for cartridges, vials and pens are tax deductible along with many other un-reimbursed medical expenses you may encounter while trying to conceive. Also once you become pregnant there may be expenses for prenatal care, hospital admission, well baby care, etc. There are two approaches to taking deductions. Know the pros and cons of each:
1 – Take an itemized medical deduction on your IRS Schedule A. The first 10% of your adjusted gross income will be subtracted from the total of your total itemized medical expenses to determine your amount of tax savings.
For example: a couple with an AGI of $100,000 gets $0 of tax savings on the first $10,000 of infertility spending.
2 – A Flexible Spending Account (FSA) allows you to realize tax savings on your very first dollar of infertility, and pregnancy related expenses. You may also reduce the amount of other taxes you pay. An FSA may help you realize savings of 1/3 or more in taxes.
For example: a couple in the 25% federal income tax bracket paying FICA taxes of 7.65% saves a total of 32.65%. This generates almost $3,265 in savings on the first $10,000 in expenses noted above.
A Flexible Spending Account can also function like an interest free loan for your infertility treatment expenses.
Refund Follistim Costs with Supplemental Insurance
It pays to think beyond just your expenditures for Follistim injections alone. You may have other infertility treatment expenses as well. And we hope you get pregnant too! Speak to your embryologist and get a frank assessment of your projected success rate. If your condition warrants a good chance of a successful conception, bet along with the odds.
Buy supplemental maternity insurance before taking Follistim. Your pregnancy will present a new set of financial challenges: like lost maternity leave income, or extra medical expenses. . The cash payments made directly to you for a normal pregnancy may be several multiples of what you must pay first in insurance premiums. Use the surplus as maternity income, or to offset all of your infertility treatment expenses.
Remember that when you stimulate your follicles you odds of multiple pregnancy are far greater than the average couple. Twins, triplet, and quad pregnancies are often high risk and may translate into lost income before delivery, and extra expenses for a long hospital NICU stay for your infants. Be prepared before beginning your next cycle. Extra benefits may be paid when your infant(s) are confined for medical reasons.