How much does In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) cost? IVF spending can pile up quickly, especially when you must cover expenses yourself without the benefit of 3rd party payments from insurers.
Couples considering In Vitro Fertilization are often concerned about costs because the treatments are rarely covered by insurance, and even when they are many left-over expenses remain. Find four ways to help afford IVF treatments:
- Cost breakdown – budget and plan strategies
- Costs with and without insurance – find ways to get covered
- Using the tax code – lower costs using the right vehicles
- People with bad credit – finds ways to afford treatments
IVF Cost Breakdown for Budgeting
The first step people need to take to better afford IVF treatments is to perform a cost breakdown to project spending, and develop strategies. There are two parts to the cost equation: your costs per cycle, and the number of cycles needed to get pregnant and bring home a baby. Supplemental health insurance for IVF helps recoup these costs when the procedure succeeds.
A budget is a crucial step as each couple will have differing resource and cash flow levels. What is affordable for one couple may be completely different for another.
Breakdown of IVF Costs per Cycle
There are many variables that determine what your IVF costs per cycle might be. Cost may vary by clinic, the state where you live, and the specific types of treatments your fertility specialist recommends. Some of these treatment costs are optional. You pay more out of pocket, but may increase the odds of conception.
These are some of the treatment options that may add to your costs:
- Donor eggs
- Fertility drugs and other medications
- Gender selection
Breakdown of Total IVF Costs
The number of IVF cycles needed to get pregnant and bring home a baby is the bigger, most difficult to project, and scariest IVF cost breakdown. Some lucky couples conceive on their first cycle, while others perform multiple cycles and walk away with nothing to show for their efforts.
Projecting your success rates is crucial when budgeting for IVF expenses. How can you project the total costs without a sense for the number of cycles needed to get pregnant? Be realistic about your odds, and plan accordingly.
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection can add to total costs when couples are facing male factor infertility. These additional expenses are rather small in comparison to the total tab for a single IVF cycle. The improved odds of success generated by making the additional payments can reduce what is spent overall.
Cost of IVF with and without Insurance
The best way to keep your cost of IVF manageable is to have somebody else pay for it – your employer’s group health insurance plan. These plans are very difficult to find, but every couple should start by understanding how state infertility insurance laws work to see if they can get coverage. Take these three steps first:
- Determine what state the employer for both spouses are headquartered
- Research the laws in the these states
- Consider changing jobs
IVF Cost with Insurance Mandate
Obviously the cost of IVF with insurance is most affordable. Fifteen states mandate that certain infertility treatments be covered by group or individual health insurance.
Plans mandated benefits for IVF costs are best. There is a direct reimbursement of your expenses to the clinic. The states with mandates requiring In Vitro Fertilization are: Arkansas, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Texas.
Other mandates specifically exclude IVF coverage; however benefits may be paid for supporting procedures for diagnosis, testing, fertility drugs, and more. States with infertility mandate excluding In Vitro Fertilization are: California, Louisiana, Montana, New York, Ohio, and West Virginia.
IVF Cost without Insurance Mandate
Coping with IVF costs without an insurance mandate requires creativity. If you live in a state without an insurance mandate don’t give up. If you have employment flexibility, consider changing employers.
People who live in neighboring states can consider commuting across the border to work for an employer in an IVF mandate state. People living in Arizona, Delaware, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin may consider this option.
The laws apply to employers headquartered in the state. Many people make the mistake of assuming the law pertains to where they live – not so. If one of your employers’ are headquartered in a mandate state you may be covered. This may be the only option for people living in non-mandate states, with no mandate neighbors. This fits your description if you live in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Kansas, Colorado, Washington, and others.
One trick for getting insurance to cover infertility treatments is to make a business case. Sometimes couples want to combine genetic testing as part of an IVF cycle. The downstream cost of delivery a baby with birth defects may persuade an insurance company to cover elective procedures upfront.
Affording IVF Treatments Using the Tax Code
Smart use of the tax code is another way people can afford IVF treatments. IVF and a variety of infertility treatment costs not covered by insurance are considered tax deductible medical expenses. Proper planning can make a big difference on your total expenditure for getting pregnant.
It pays to understand the advantages and disadvantages for two tax saving vehicles. A flexible spending account provides bigger savings percentages because you avoid paying FICA taxes. But the contribution limits may be too small. Schedule A deductions have no limits, but include a threshold that must be first met.
Maximizing IVF Tax Deductions
The tax deduction limitation is a key reason why IVF refund programs are tax efficient. These programs help couples maximize IVF tax deductions by consolidating tax deductible IVF expenses into a single tax year. By consolidating theses expenses into one year the tax deduction threshold only has to be met once.
One component of these plans is an incentive to purchase multiple cycles up front. In addition to getting a bulk price or quantity discount on each cycle, it encourages you to accumulate all your expenses into a single tax year. Refund programs are also a great way of affording IVF treatments that do not work.
Affording IVF with Bad Credit
Affording IVF with bad credit is very hard to do. If you are already in dire financial straits, paying for IVF costs out of pocket will make finances even worse. Make sure to insure mom’s income in advance of your next IVF cycle. If you have bad credit now, wait until you add IVF costs into the mix, and follow that with lost income during a high-risk pregnancy, and unpaid maternity leave.
Your employer can help get interest free IVF financing courtesy of a flexible spending account. There are no credit checks, and people with bad credit automatically qualify.