Analyzing the cost of in vitro fertilization
How much does IVF cost when you add up all the different expenses? And how can you figure out how much IVF will really cost you? Comparing quotes from fertility clinics for in vitro fertilization can be confusing, and the many options for extra treatments can feel overwhelming. Every patient has specific, individual needs, which makes a single breakdown of IVF costs difficult or impossible. However, if you look at the different types of IVF expenses, you can get a sense of what you might need and what to keep in mind.
Comparing IVF Costs Between Clinics
It’s natural to want to get quotes from several different fertility clinics if you’re considering IVF. After all, IVF involves a substantial financial investment. However, you may have found that price estimates seem to vary widely between clinics, or even just between articles on the cost of IVF. To accurately compare prices between clinics, you need to know exactly what each quote includes. Many clinics do not include the costs of medications, genetic testing, embryo cryopreservation and storage, or any additional fertility services beyond the very basic ones required for an IVF cycle.
When receiving a quote from a clinic, ask for a detailed breakdown of the IVF costs. Check to see if those include:
- Fertility testing
- Ultrasound monitoring and blood work
- Pre-implantation genetic testing (PGT)
- Embryo cryopreservation and storage
- Frozen embryo transfers
- Medications for ovarian stimulation and post-transfer
- Pregnancy testing
If you don’t see those costs in the breakdown, ask your clinic for an estimate of what they recommend for your treatment and what they expect those treatments to cost.
Once you have detailed estimates from multiple clinics, you can compare them more accurately. Often, clinics that provide a very low initial estimate include fewer services than clinics with a higher upfront cost. Keep in mind as well that finding the right fertility clinic involves more than just money. Quality of care, experience, transparency, and patient communication all make a huge difference in your fertility journey.
Additional IVF Costs
As noted, clinic estimates often only include the basic services required for a standard IVF cycle. These usually include:
- Egg retrieval
- Monitoring appointments
- In vitro fertilization
- Fresh embryo transfer
Depending on your specific diagnosis and situation, your doctor may recommend additional assisted reproductive technologies. These can range from services that increase the chances of fertilization or implantation, such as intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) or preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) to third-party reproductive services such as donor eggs, sperm, or embryos, or a gestational carrier. Each of these services involves additional costs. Third-party reproductive options tend to have higher costs, with gestational surrogacy being the most expensive IVF option.
How Much Does IVF Cost Out-of-Pocket?
A 2014 study found that couples undergoing IVF spent an average of $19,234 out-of-pockey on IVF treatment. The out-of-pocket expenses to IVF patients depend on whether your insurance covers fertility treatments. Some employer-provided health plans, especially at large tech companies, offer fertility benefits. In other cases, your health insurance may cover certain parts of treatment, such as medications or monitoring appointments. Unfortunately, many insurance plans do not cover fertility treatments, or have very narrow criteria to qualify for coverage. If you do not have insurance that covers IVF, all of your costs will be out-of-pocket, and they can stack up quickly. Most patients require multiple IVF cycles to successfully become pregnant, which increases costs further.
How to Pay for IVF
The cost of IVF can feel daunting, especially without insurance. However, patients have a number of options to help afford fertility treatments. You may qualify for fertility grants from nonprofits, fertility clinics, or other organizations. You can also consider fertility-specific financing options, or crowdfunding to help with some out-of-pocket costs. Some clinics also offer payment plans to make IVF costs more manageable. Your clinic may also suggest alternate treatments plans, such as mini- or micro-IVF, that use fewer medications and can reduce costs. Ultimately, your clinic can help you determine a treatment plan balancing chances of success with affordability.
At PNWF, we believe financial limitations should not prevent anyone from building a family. We strive to keep costs as low as possible to our patients while providing the highest quality services to maximize chances of success. Our dedicated financial team will help lay out all of the expected costs and work with you to plan a path forward. To get started, make an appointment today.