In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) financial help can dramatically reduce what a person must spend. The challenge is finding these resources.
Grants are free money that you do not have to repay. Funding charities are the obvious place to look. Unfortunately, they have limited resources.
Free clinical trials and egg sharing help patients who meet strict medical criteria and live near a participating clinic. Discount programs can reduce out-of-pocket expenses.
Every penny counts when you do not know the number of cycles you might need.
IVF Grants Scholarships and Loans
In Vitro Fertilization grants, scholarships and loans are frequent sources of financial assistance for self-pay patients. However, each option benefits different groups in unique ways.
- Loans help more people but require repayment
- Grants are free money that few people actually get
- Scholarships cover expenses for students and do not apply
IVF loans wind up as the most viable form of financial assistance for most people. It will always be easier to find a company willing to lend money when you intend to pay them back – with interest.
The average cost of a cycle is $15,000 and many patients need to finance multiple cycles before bringing home a baby. This is a large sum to borrow and repay. Lenders will approve those meeting three main criteria.
- Good or excellent credit score and history
- Sufficient income to handle monthly payments
- Verifiable employment record
IVF grants are the most favorable form of financial assistance. Couples do not need to repay the grant. It is a gift. However, this makes them very hard to find. In addition, the qualifications are hard to meet because free money is always scarce.
Certain groups may find alternatives to grants that are more widely available and make treatment and/or the outcome more affordable.
- Cancer patients can sometimes get their health insurance to cover medically necessary procedures needed to restore fertility lost during chemotherapy or surgery
- Military families can sometimes use Tricare for medically necessary treatment or for service members injured in the line of duty
- Veterans can sometimes tap VA benefits for infertility assessment, counseling, and specific treatments for both male and females
- Nurses and other healthcare professionals can take advantage of a professional courtesy
- Police and other law enforcement officers have strong union representation that can negotiate extra insurance benefits
- Teachers and other educators can enroll in an NEA sponsored disability insurance plan that offsets income losses during a pregnancy bed rest
- Gay couples face higher treatment costs due to the need of either a surrogate for men or a sperm donor for lesbians
Direct government grants for IVF do not exist. The federal government does not offer grants as financial assistance to individuals for personal needs. The federal government awards the grants to universities, state agencies, and non-profit organizations. This does not include twosomes seeking free money for an artificial reproductive technology – unless you consider tax implications.
IVF and infertility treatments are tax deductible under IRS rules. State governments often follow IRS guidelines. Therefore, patients have two ways to save on treatment expenses.
Couples searching for IVF scholarships should not waste their time. Scholarships are gifts that students do not need to repay. The financial assistance supports higher education expenses such as room, board, tuition, and textbooks.
Scholarships are merit (athletic ability, academic proficiency, musical talent) and/or needs based (household income). They make it more affordable to attend college.
A student could not use a scholarship to help pay for IVF as the school usually receives the aid.
IVF Discount Programs
Most discount programs for In Vitro Fertilization are marketing programs designed by private companies. They promote savings on very expensive procedures to self-pay clients. In return, they expect to see higher patient volume and/or greater market share.
Private companies offer discount IVF medications to drive volume and/or share of the market. Most clients will find that the programs restrict access to low-income families, products from specific manufacturers, or customers of a narrow network of participating pharmacies.
Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) offer medication discounts via the tax code. Simply pay for any qualifying infertility treatment using your FSA debit card and realize three types of tax savings.
- Federal income tax (10% to 37%)
- FICA tax (7.65%
- State income tax (Varies widely)
Compassionate Care is an IVF medication discount program run by EMD Serono, Inc., a subsidiary of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. They offer potential savings of 25% to 75% off the available self-pay price (without insurance) for eligible (income-based) patients on EMD Serono product only.
Low-income families qualify for the financial help. A mail-in rebate provides 10% savings for those earning more.
WINFertilityRx Medication Bundles offer discount packages without any income-based criteria. The terms “Bundles” and “Packages” give us a clue that they are seeking patient and prescription volume.
They offer lower prices when clients purchase all of their fertility drugs and related services in one bundle or package. The financing option promoted at the same time shows that the total price is still not cheap.
IVF medication coupon codes seem to be nothing more than a clever affiliate-marketing trick. These companies know that cash-strapped consumers are always looking for markdowns and search online for coupon codes.
They present coupon codes offering discounts on a variety of commonly prescribed fertility drugs. Click on any of these buttons and the site will redirect you to an affiliated pharmacy. You wind up paying the same prices if you arrive there directly. Do not be fooled.
IVF refund programs offer multi-cycle discounts as part of their package deal. These risk-sharing arrangements offer several benefits along with a difficult decision.
- A partial refund if the couple does not bring home a baby
- Discounted treatment cost for several cycles
- An incentive for the clinic to be successful
- Upfront testing to verify high success projections
Supplemental health insurance covers IVF outcomes. If accepted into the refund program buy these policies before conception to offset pregnancy-related expenses. Your odds of success are very high – otherwise, the clinic would not offer a guarantee.
The multi-cycle commitment is the tricky decision. The person pays the full fee if they conceive on the first try and wind up paying much more than if they opted out.
Free IVF Treatment Programs
Truly free In Vitro Fertilization treatment programs are extremely rare – especially for clients over the age of 40. The options for this form of gratis help usually involve some type of tradeoff or exchange. Older applicants have less to giveaway.
You may not have to reach into your own pocket as much – but you will have to give up something of value in return.
Free IVF clinical trials can reduce the out-of-pocket costs for couples who meet narrow study parameters and reside near a participating clinic. Research groups and pharmaceutical companies often need to recruit study participants and may offer discounts or free services to qualifying patients.
The trick is finding a clinical trial that matches your medical condition, timing needs (2018, 2019, 2020), and geographic preference. They may run various experiments and can include placebos and test new devices and therapies. Many studies seek out patients with specific challenges.
- Breast cancer survivors
- Repeated IVF failure
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
Several online databases point clients interested in IVF clinical trials to possible studies.
Completely free IVF with egg sharing is not realistic. Although, people who qualify medically and are open to helping an anonymous couple build their family can realize significant savings.
The average cost of a full cycle is $15,000 whereas the average compensation for egg donors ranges from a low of $5,000 to high of $10,000 for women with exceptional qualities. The couple must fund the difference.
Not every woman qualifies for an egg-sharing program.
- Under the age of 35
- No transmittable diseases
- No heritable medical conditions
- Under a specific body mass index (BMI)
- Sufficient ovarian reserve
- Minimum number of eggs available for retrieval
- Okay with emotional impact and life-long implications
IVF Funding Charities
A variety of In Vitro Fertilization funding charities offers help with certain costs for qualifying people. They all share one common trait. They rely on contributions from donors and other forms of philanthropy.
This means that money is often short, and the resources dry up. They are often here today and gone tomorrow. If they have the cash to share, the criteria are very strict. Only a small percentage of consumers in the USA actually receive the aid.
They have a noble mission too big for any single non-profit to handle. Below is the status for several notable groups as of July 2018. We cannot vouch for their activity levels in 2019, 2020, or later.
The Baby Quest Foundation provides fertility grants to those who cannot afford the high costs of procedures such as IVF (in vitro fertilization), gestational surrogacy, egg and sperm donation, egg freezing, artificial insemination, and embryo donation.
The monetary awards cover a portion of medication cost. The funding charity properly discloses that donation levels limit what they can give, and they cannot support all who apply.
The entity is active as of the publication date.
The Tina Q. Cade Foundation delivers aid as their resource levels allow. According to their website, this funding charity provided 70 families (as of July 2018) with financial support for adoption and fertility treatment nationwide since 2005. That works out to approximately 5 couples each year.
This is one of only a few remaining active entities.
Sparkles of Life
Sparkles of Life, Inc. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting people on their paths to parenthood. This funding charity awards the Garden of Life Grant to patients who demonstrate a documented need for fertility treatment. The award covers up to 33% discount of one In Vitro Fertilization cycle provided by The Houston Fertility Institute in Texas.
The application form lists a deadline from two years ago. We cannot determine if they are likely to continue past this date.
Bringing U Maternal Paternal Success (B.U.M.P.S.) afforded aid in the past “to help create or expand families, one bump at a time.” Many other online resources mention this funding charity. The website (yourbump.org) resolves to a blank page.
It appears they can no longer offer help.
Pay It Forward
The Pay it Forward Fertility Foundation afforded aid to selected applicants in the past. This funding charity helped 20 couples deliver 28 babies since their inception ten years ago. That works out to 2 families each year.
Their website states that they are suspending operations so that the founders, board of directors, and volunteers can focus on their personal lives.
The Fertile Dream Organization is yet another defunct funding charity that helped people pay for IVF treatment in the past. You may still find a variety of online resources listing this organization as an active entity.
The website URL is now for sale and is full of advertising without any meaningful content. In addition, the phone number listed on other websites is disconnected.