Financial wellness9 min read

Financing Fertility Treatment

By Noah - March 30, 2021

As many as 1 in 8 people trying to grow their family struggle with infertility. Going through fertility treatments is a major physical and emotional process. To make matters more complicated, fertility care can be financially overwhelming, too. The good news is today there are many options to fund your next step towards your future family.

How Much Does Fertility Treatment Cost?

Different fertility treatment options are right for different people. Your doctors will discuss which options they recommend based on your medical details, timeline, and what you’ve tried already. Here are some common fertility treatments and their costs.

  • Intrauterine insemination (IUI): Doctors time an IUI procedure around the patient’s ovulation date, using a syringe to inject a specially prepared sample from the partner or donor into the patient’s uterus to help the healthiest sperm get as close to the egg as possible. IUI typically costs $300-1,000 per cycle.
  • In vitro fertilization (IVF): Doctors collect both mature eggs and sperm and fertilize the eggs in a clinical setting. When the embryos are ready, usually 2-5 days after egg retrieval, the doctors will use a syringe to inject one or more embryos into the patient’s uterus, where hopefully at least one will implant for a pregnancy. Average IVF treatment costs can range $12,000-17,000 per cycle, not including medication. With medications, the total be closer to $25,000.
  • Frozen embryo transfer (FET): If an IVF cycle produced more embryos than the doctors used for your procedure, you’ll have the option to freeze the remaining embryos for future use if needed. Egg freezing typically costs $3,000-6,000, although many clinics may offer discounted services for patients undergoing multiple cycles. A storage facility will likely charge $300-1,000 per year to store your embryos. 

If you are not successful right away, or doctors recommend the more expensive (and invasive) IVF over IUI, it’s easy to see how trying for a baby can carry a significant financial cost. Here are some options for fertility treatment financing.

Savings and Donations

You’re committed to providing for what your future baby needs, and right now, that means helping that baby exist. Taking stock of your savings can bring up a lot of emotions. You may feel hope that your hard-earned dollars can help you achieve the pregnancy you long for, feel anxious about how many cycles you can afford, or feel resentful or jealous of couples who get pregnant without assistance when you need to navigate physical and financial hurdles.

In addition to drawing from your own savings, you might ask loved ones for financial contributions toward your journey to parenthood (or toward adding siblings to your family). Some grandparents or other friends and family are able and eager to help fund the cost of fertility treatment. You might even decide to make a page on a site like GoFundMe.

The pro of self-funding or asking for donations is you draw from your own resources and community. There are no lenders, complicated paperwork, or interest to consider. The downside is you and your loved ones may run out of money to put toward IVF financing before you successfully conceive.  Accepting the generosity of friends and family may also create tradeoffs involving your sense of privacy and communication during rounds of IVF. 

Financing Through Your Fertility Clinic

One of the more obvious places to start thinking about how to pay for IVF is the clinic you’re visiting for treatment. Medical providers know that health insurance doesn’t always cover fertility care. The accounts department is used to working with patients to figure out options to make payments more achievable.

Your clinic may work with you on a payment plan so you can pay back the loan amount in installments. Read through the details carefully to make sure you understand up-front payment expectations, interest rates, and payment terms.

Some clinics also offer IVF financing options like loans. They may work with a third-party lender that specializes in fertility loans and is set up to facilitate smooth transfer of payments between you, the lender, and the clinic. Be mindful that despite the convenience this offers, the fertility loan options at your clinic may not offer the best interest rates or other terms. Compare options carefully to find what’s cost-effective and convenient for you, beyond just the options presented directly by the clinic.

Fertility Financing

Loans for fertility treatment fall under the broader category of medical loans. Some lenders offering specific fertility loans may include additional services. One financing company promises to match clients with a “Fertility Coach” for encouragement and support, and many lenders will work directly with your clinic’s billing office so you don’t need to handle those visits yourself.

You can also apply for a traditional personal loan from a bank or other financial institution. Some personal loans may come with lower interest rates or an easier monthly payment for you. If you decide you need a break from fertility treatment and want to use some money for another purpose (e.g., a couple’s getaway), this is also easier with a personal loan.

Fertility Grants and Scholarships

Some organizations offer grants to put toward fertility treatment, or a “scholarship” (i.e., donated services from a clinic). The benefit of this type of funding is you don’t need to pay the money back. You’ll need to fill out an application, possibly pay an application fee (around $50 is common), and meet eligibility standards. A grant may not cover the full treatment amount, so you may need to combine a grant with another source of funding.

HELOC or Home Equity Loan

A home equity line of credit (HELOC) or home equity loan are traditional ways for homeowners to tap into some of their home equity. Typically, you can use these loans for any purpose, including healthcare.  Under this type of agreement, you’ll have a monthly payment plan with interest to repay the home equity funds. If you have an excellent credit score, both a HELOC and a Home Equity Loan could provide you with a higher credit limit and lower interest rate than credit cards, but one important risk to note is that if you fall behind on payments you may be at risk of having your home go into foreclosure. It’s important to review your finances carefully before taking the step to take out a second mortgage.

Home Value Investment

Home equity can feel almost like a catch-22 at times. To take advantage of the wealth you’ve accumulated in your home, you could move when the baby arrives, leaving you with cash to pay medical bills plus a nice nest egg after the sale of your home. But if it doesn’t make sense to move, the equity stays tied up in the appraisal value of the house. If monthly payments on a home equity loan would be challenging, that home equity value can seem untappable. The money you could use to pay for IVF is right there! The question is how to reach it without collapsing your month-to-month financial stability?

A Home Value Investment may be the solution.  It allows you to tap into the value of your home without taking on additional debt, which makes it a great solution for those working to rebuild their credit history. Noah purchases a share in the overall value of your home in exchange for the upfront funding you need. As your home appreciates or depreciates in value, the amount of your home's value you'll share with Noah changes based on that gain or loss.

An important benefit of a Home Value Investment is it offers you time. No monthly payments and no prepayment penalties means no distractions from your focus on adding to your family. While a Home Value Investment isn’t right for everyone, some families may find this is a great option to cover the full amount they need without adding to monthly debt payments. Noah also offers a Homeowner Protection Program to support some homeowners if they’re struggling to pay mortgage. In other words, Noah has multiple ways to help support homeowners in their journey to grow their family and stay financially secure.

How to Pay for IVF

Everyone’s journey to parenthood is unique. The particular chemistry of your body, the number and timeline of treatment cycles, your emotional and physical response to fertility treatments, and your plans for other parts of your life all help determine which path is right for you. Some people have the resources and flexibility to try a variety of financing options. Others need to balance their deep desire for a baby with other non-negotiable financial needs (possibly even taking care of other children).

However you decide to take the next steps toward trying for a baby, surround yourself with people who support and encourage you. Your loved ones, and even the financing partners you choose to help you pursue your dreams, can be part of the “village” waiting in hope with you.

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