photo courtesy of cdn.babble.com
Infertility treatment is expensive. Ask anyone who has gone through it.
The good news is that IVF costs have barely changed in over 20 years. And pregnancy rates have doubled or even tripled in most centers in the past 20 years. You can’t say that about a car, and you can’t buy a new car for the cost of an IVF cycle. The bad news is that just when insurance companies were beginning to cover IVF and other infertility treatments, they are now backing off and many patients are losing their coverage. How do you protect yourself in this case?
First, check your insurance. If you are covered, don’t assume that this will always be the case. Companies constantly evaluate money savers versus money losers and infertility is often first on the chopping block. If you don’t get a straight answer from your company, ask your fertility center. They often know if a change in coverage is coming down the pike, and can advise you. You also need to know the following:
1. What is covered?
2. How much money is available for your treatment? Most plans have some sort of dollar amount limit. Think of this as the budget you have to work with.
3. What will limit your coverage? Common limits include prior sterilization surgery, age over 45, or duration of infertility less than one year.
Second, be honest with yourself: How much out of pocket are you willing and able to spend on your fertility treatment? What are your limits? Do you have religious or ethical objections to certain treatments? What is your prognosis? Does your doctor think you have a good chance of getting pregnant with treatment or does he say your odds are limited by things such as age? It will only waste your precious resources if you pursue less effective treatments because of cost or other factors. Your doctor can help you with these decisions, but you need to be frank about all of your concerns.
Third, save up: What if you have no insurance for fertility treatment? You need to know two things. What is your budget? What is your time frame? If you’re 25 years old, it is possible to take a year or two to save up for some fertility treatment without decreasing your prognosis at all. If you happen to conceive before you saved what you had planned, you have a nice little start to a college fund for baby. But if you’re 40, time is of the essence. You may have to go with what you have available right now, and work with that. Let your clinic know what your budget is, so they can work out a treatment plan.