There are a number of ways to achieve Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) cost savings. Focusing on the cost of the ICSI treatments by itself limits the possibilities. But if you consider the ICSI total cost of care a world of savings opportunities opens up.
Rather than examining the private costs of ICSI in isolation, consider how to lower the costs of getting pregnant and bringing home a baby after utilizing Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection. Break down the steps as follows:
- ICSI treatment costs
- Total cost of care
- How success rates impact costs
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection Treatment Costs
The first step in understanding how to achieve Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) cost savings is to examine the procedure costs in isolation, along with the purpose of the added step. The bottom line is that ICSI improves the odds of conception for couples dealing with male infertility factors. Improved success rates increase the odds that supplemental health insurance for IVF will generate benefit payments.
What is ICSI?
With Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), the embryologist takes a single sperm and injects it directly into an egg. A few days later the fertilized embryos are implanted into the uterus. Any remaining embryos are frozen for later use. ICSI is most often used in cases where there is either a low sperm count, the sperm are abnormally shaped, or there is low motility. The sperm may be retrieved from ejaculate, or via a surgical procedure called Testicular Sperm Extraction (TESE).
ICSI Treatment Costs
When considering the costs of the procedure, you must include estimates for any fertility drugs taken to stimulate egg production, along with the ICSI, TESE if needed, and embryo storage and freezing. Each fertility clinic will have its own pricing and packaging approaches. Prices for ICSI alone range from $2,000 to $4,000, but vary widely.
ICSI Total Cost of Care
There are three major components to the Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection total cost of care. The first component is the specific treatment costs associated with injecting the sperm into the egg, which is addressed above.
Costs Combined with Other Treatments
The second component in the total cost of care for ICSI is the accompanying IVF procedure. Use of ICSI improves the success rates for couples dealing with male factor infertility. The average IVF cost breakdown suggests that the total cost of care ranges up to $15,000 per cycle. Of course more than one cycle is often needed making the total cost of care difficult to project for this portion of the equation.
Another component of the total cost of care for ICSI is the fertility drugs utilized. A large quantity of eggs are often needed, so drugs which stimulate ovulation need to be included in the cost calculations also.
Cost of Caring for Premature Infants
The third component to the total cost of care of ICSI is often overlooked: the resulting pregnancy. Many pregnancies are high risk. Multiple pregnancies are common and frequently deliver preterm. The total cost of caring for premature infants can be sky high. Mom often takes an unpaid maternity leave.
Twins and triplets are often delivered early, and are considered high risk. When your infant(s) is delivered early you may find out the hard way that your insurance plan leaves you with unbudgeted and unreimbursed medical expenses. A week in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit can rack up extremely high bills depending upon how your plan is structured.
A high risk pregnancy may also mean a shortage of income if mom needs to leave work months before her due date. If you drew down your savings or borrowed money to finance your ICSI and infertility expenses it may be very hard to repay these loans with one less income. Supplemental health insurance mitigates these risks.
ICSI Success Rates and Costs
IVF costs and success factors drive your total cost of getting pregnant – the biggest cost of ICSI. The fertilization rate ranges from 75% – 85%. The resulting embryos have a slightly higher pregnancy rate than normal as the egg quality is often better – a couple with male infertility issues may have high quality eggs.
Remember the higher the success rate of ICSI the fewer the number of attempts needed. Assuming a 25% pregnancy rate, and an average all in cost of $15,000 per cycle, the average couple might spend $60,000 out of pocket.
Do you have $60,000 lying around just to get pregnant? Most couples don’t.
Risk sharing programs have hidden advantages that can help provide ICSI treatment cost savings. In addition to providing refund guarantees, they provide hidden advantages that many overlook.
One big Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) cost savings opportunities associated with these programs is the multi-cycle discount. By consolidating your expenses into a single tax year, you maximize the amount of deductible expenses above the IRS deduction threshold of 10.0% of adjusted gross income.
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