How much does In Vitro Fertilization cost in Florida? The average $15,000 per-cycle price is only one layer of the onion.

Some couples pay far less because their employer’s group health insurance covers much of the treatment expenses. Meanwhile, far more people must foot the entire bill by themselves and need multiple attempts before achieving success.

Then, many mothers conceive and take extended unpaid maternity leave. Meanwhile, medical bills start piling up because she needed specialists to deal with a high-risk pregnancy and infant in the NICU.

Affording IVF means addressing treatment and outcome costs! Take advantage of twenty one strategies that could help.

Lowering IVF Treatment Costs

Most Florida couples focus on In Vitro Fertilization treatment costs because the charges can be a barrier to family expansion. The three primary strategies to lower out-of-pocket spending boil down to investing in success, reduce prices, and getting insurance to cover the procedure – if possible.

Success Rates

Boosting In Vitro Fertilization success rates is the best way to cut your overall treatment costs. The math is simple. Getting pregnant on the first try is much more affordable than paying for multiple cycles at $15,000 on average.

Financing

Request a personal loan to obtain the resources necessary to improve your IVF success odds. If approved, a lender licensed in Florida will deposit the borrowed funding directly into your checking account.

Having sufficient cash in your bank account puts you in the driver’s seat in at least three crucial areas.

  1. Choose the fertility clinic best suited to address your specific medical needs, rather than the one that offers a financing program
  2. Invest in optional services that increase the chances of bringing home a baby after the first attempt
  3. If needed, lump multiple cycles into a single calendar year to maximize savings from tax deductions (see below)

Optional Services

Couples with sufficient resources can invest in optional services that increase the odds of conception. Each choice adds to the typical per-cycle IVF base price of $12,000 but lowers the expected cost of bringing home a baby by perhaps limiting the number of attempts.

  1. Fertility medications: charges vary by dose and prescription
  2. Donor eggs: $17,000
  3. Donor sperm: $2,000
  4. Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection: $2,000

Paying more for elective services can boost success rates from 25% to 75%. Think about it. Cutting out one failed cycle could make a huge difference in the affordability of bringing home a baby – your goal.

Cheap Prices

Paying cut-rate prices per cycle is the obvious way to make In Vitro Fertilization more affordable. However, Florida couples should be careful not to sacrifice the quality that could jeopardize their success rates, or spin their wheels chasing after false promises.

Grants

Do not place too much hope in being able to qualify for IVF grants. The promise of free money that you do not have to repay is appealing. However, the reality is that few couples qualify, and the entities offering the help have limited resources or hidden agendas.

  1. The federal government does not offer grants to individuals
  2. Charitable organizations rely on the generosity of donors and have insufficient resources to help more than just a few couples each year
  3. Other entities require a donated application fee which in turns funds the grant money for about 1% of applicants
  4. Free clinical trials are hit or miss and have precise qualifying criteria based on the medical reasons for infertility

Tax Breaks

While Florida does not have a state income tax, residents can still take advantage of federal tax savings. Many treatment expenses are deductible per IRS guidelines.[1]

Therefore, couples can solve for a much cheaper IVF after-tax price – if they plan carefully and make smart choices.

  1. Consolidating multiple cycles into a single calendar year maximizes your “discount.” You must have enough itemized deductions (mortgage interest, property taxes, and medical expenses) to exceed your “personal exemption” and only amounts above 7.5% of Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) yield savings.
  2. Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) work better for couples who do not itemize. You get first dollar tax savings and avoid paying FICA taxes. However, the per-person FSA contribution limit is $2,750.
  3. Traveling expenses (mileage and hotel stays) for trips to Margate, Jupiter, Pembroke Pines, or Wellington can add to your total.

Mini IVF

Florida couples considering Mini IVF because of its cheaper price should factor in the lower success rates. Your odds of paying for multiple cycles is much higher

The micro or minimum stimulation method uses weaker or smaller doses of fertility drugs.[2] However, some patients are better suited for the mini protocol for medical reasons.

  1. Cancer patients
  2. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
  3. Low ovarian reserves
  4. At risk of Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS)
  5. Desire to avoid twins or triplets

Medical Insurance

Using medical insurance to lower your In Vitro Fertilization treatment costs will prove very elusive. Most issuing companies classify IVF as an elective procedure, and will not cover any part of the process – it is not medically necessary.

However, every rule has an exception, and two exist in the group marketplace (not individual). Therefore, one could get coverage for treatment in theory.

  1. Verify benefits for all plan options offered by your employer and make appropriate changes during open enrollment
  2. Do the same with workplace offerings through your spouse
  3. Ask your network of friends and family members about their workplace benefits. Perhaps they can keep you advised of job openings if their employer offers the coveted coverage – it could be a nice raise in pay!

Infertility Mandate

Florida does not have an insurance mandate that requires carriers to cover infertility and or IVF treatment. Although, seventeen other states do, which creates the first exception to the rule.[3]

Group plans issued in mandate states must comply with those laws regardless of where a member resides or works. For example, large employers with headquarter locations subject to mandates might have many employees working in the Sunshine State. Therefore, those lucky couples might enjoy the coverage.

Blue Cross

The Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) of Florida infertility and In Vitro Fertilization statement of coverage illustrates how the mandates can work in practice. The BCBS medical coverage guide contains this telling position statement:

Coverage for infertility is subject to the member’s benefit terms, limitations, and maximums. Refer to contract language regarding infertility.”[4]

BCBS does not cover IVF in the individual market but appears to do so for at least some groups. One reason is the out-of-state mandate requirement noted above. The other explanation represents the second exception. Some employers may opt to cover treatment voluntarily to attract and retain a competitive workforce.

Lowering IVF Outcome Costs

Almost every Florida couple can purchase or modify insurance that reduces the cost of In Vitro Fertilization outcomes – the goal of the procedure. Sometimes, the unreimbursed medical expenses for mom’s pregnancy and childbirth dwarf the treatment fees.

Think ahead to the big picture and save yourself from avoidable problems in the future by acting at the right times with supplemental and traditional healthcare plans.

Supplemental Insurance

Two supplemental health insurance policies available in Florida make cash payments directly to you for In Vitro Fertilization results – thereby reducing downstream costs. Remember that the goal of each cycle is to impregnate the future mother.

However, you must purchase supplemental coverage before conception to avoid pre-existing condition exclusions. In other words, buy these two programs before your next cycle!

Short-Term Disability

Short-term disability insurance covers several notable IVF outcomes. Florida does not have laws requiring paid maternity leave, so families need something to address the cost of her lost income during these frequent events.

  • Pregnancy disability leave can last for months if mom experiences complications from a high-risk gestation and cannot work before her due date
  • Recovery from childbirth typically takes from six to eight weeks depending on the type of delivery (vaginal birth or C-section)
  • Postpartum medical disorders such as heavy bleeding or infections can delay her return to the job indefinitely

Short-term disability may make cash payments directly to the mother during the time she is unable to work because of these covered conditions.

Hospital Indemnity

Hospital indemnity insurance covers a different set of probable IVF outcomes. The coverage might make cash payments directly to the policyholder when any of these typical events occur.

  • Mom checks into the hospital to deliver her baby
  • Her infant needs specialized care in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Twins and triplets frequently occur after multiple embryo transfers and often arrive pre-term, requiring skilled care in a NICU. In this case, a hospital indemnity policy may make cash payments for each infant or each day of confinement.

Health Insurance

Traditional health insurance also covers many notable In Vitro Fertilization outcomes, and Florida couples should choose the plan design best suited to lower unreimbursed medical costs.

IVF pregnancies are often high-risk – mainly when twins or triplets result from multiple embryo transfers. Mom could need medical care from perinatal specialists, extended hospitalization, and her infant(s) could begin life in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

Your heavy utilization of healthcare exposes possible holes in your policy.

  • Large deductibles mean you pay 100% out-of-pocket
    • Individual deductible always applies to the mother
    • The family deductible could apply to premature infants
  • Balance billing from out-of-network providers
    • The submitted amount is the inflated provider charges
    • The allowed amount is the discount rate the plan pays
    • The family is responsible for the difference

Request a health insurance quote during the annual open enrollment period in November of each year, or any time you experience a qualifying life event: loss of coverage, change of address, marriage, etc. An agent can help you choose a plan with smaller deductibles and broader networks.

[1] IRS Publication 502

[2] Palm Beach Fertility Center

[3] National Infertility Foundation

[4] BCBS Medical Coverage Guide