When you're exploring your fertility treatment options, cost is an important factor to be aware of throughout your family planning journey. IVF costs can be higher than earlier interventions, primarily due to the level of care that's involved. But not all IVF treatments are the same, and there are some options that can help make it more affordable, including health insurance and financing. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about IVF treatment costs.
Average Cost of IVF Treatment
How much does IVF cost? The average cost of IVF varies based on a number of factors. However, in 2019, The New York Times reported that most patients across the U.S. pay anywhere between $12,000 to $25,000. At Oma Fertility, we break down the IVF price into stages so that you're only paying for the services you use. For instance, IVF with ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) costs between $13,000 and $15,000. The embryo transfer process is charged separately since not every patient will move onto this stage.
Factors That Can Impact IVF Price
There are a number of distinct costs that contribute to your total price for IVF. Here are some expenses you should expect to see when you explore options with your fertility specialist.
Lab Tests: Blood work lab tests are done early on to check your levels of follicle-stimulating hormone. This indicates the amount and quality of eggs.
Ultrasounds: While taking the injectable hormonal medications,Your fertility team will conduct ultrasounds and hormonal blood testing to monitor follicle development and endometrial lining thickness.
Medication: Your medication plan is determined by your IVF doctor based on your fertility profile. In some cases, Birth control pills may be prescribed prior to commencing the hormonal injections based on your unique clinical situations.
Egg Retrieval: After going under sedation, an IVF specialist will remove your eggs, which takes just about 15 minutes.
Sperm Prep: The sperm sample is collected next. At Oma, we use Sperm InSight, which is our own proprietary microscope that helps our embryologists select the most promising sperm.
Embryo Culturing: This is the process that combines the egg with the sperm to create an embryo. At this point, the Oma team also screens for genetic disorders and embryo sex (if desired).
Embryo Transfer: Once the embryo is cultured, it's time to implant into the uterus. This procedure is not very invasive. It doesn't require sedation and feels like a Pap smear.
Embryo Storage: If there are high quality embryos left after the transfer process, you can store them to use at a later time. Oma patients can store their embryos in our state-of-the-art storage facility. The first year is free, and then there is an annual charge to continue.
Additional Costs for IVF Options
It's important to make sure you understand potential costs beyond the standard care procedures described above. Some people may also require the following treatments that could make IVF more expensive:
Preimplantation genetic screening and diagnosis (PGS and PGD)
Testicular sperm extraction (TESE)
Clinic success rate
Also remember to consider non-medical expenses, like taking days off of work, accounting for travel expenses, or potential child care costs while you're at your appointments.
Does Insurance Cover IVF Treatment?
Can you lower IVF costs with insurance? The short answer is that it depends on where you live. According to the National Infertility Association, 20 states have some type of fertility insurance coverage law in place as of June 2022. Of those 20, 14 states include IVF coverage. In California, for instance, employers are required to include some infertility treatments in their health insurance policies, but IVF is currently not included as a requirement.
Does Insurance Cover IVF for Gay Couples?
This is a tricky question that essentially depends on how your insurance company defines infertility. According to the CDC, infertility is defined as, "not being able to get pregnant (conceive) after one year (or longer) of unprotected sex." That can be exclusionary for same-sex couples if the insurance company doesn't opt for a broader interpretation of infertility. However, there is talk of changes to federal law under the Biden Administration and the Affordable Care Act, although no updates have been made as of October 2022.
How Can You Pay for IVF?
Even without comprehensive insurance coverage for most people in the U.S, there are other ways to pay for IVF treatment.
Upfront payment: You may qualify for a discount by making an upfront payment (such as with cash or a credit card)
HELOC: A home equity line of credit lets you borrow money against your home, drawing on funds as you need them. Rates are relatively low since your home is used as collateral, but you only pay interest on what you borrow.
Personal loan: Borrow a lump sum of cash to pay for your IVF treatment. The benefit here is that rates are fixed and you make payments monthly over a set period of time, so it's easier to budget.
IVF grant: Some nonprofit organizations offer grants and scholarships to successful applicants. The National Infertility Association has a helpful roundup of available programs.