How to pay for IVF treatment: cash, credit or loan?
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When TJ Farnsworth, founder of Initial fertility, embarked on his family’s fertility journey in 2012, had no idea it would take him and his wife two years and several cycles of in vitro fertilization (IVF) to become parents.
Fortunately, Farnsworth and his wife could afford doctor visits and fertility treatments, but the cost can be an insurmountable barrier for many hopeful families.
the the average cost of IVF is $ 12,000, and it often takes up to two or three cycles to have a successful pregnancy. In fact, more 70% of fertile patients require more than one treatment cycle to be successful.
Although more and more health insurance plans now cover IVF and fertility-related expenses, not all states require this coverage. And once you’ve paid for the costs of fertility treatment and / or IVF, there’s never a guarantee that you’ll come home with a baby.
“I’ve always wanted kids,” Farnsworth tells Select. “But I never grew up in a million years dreaming that it would happen somewhere in a lab and cost over $ 100,000.”
The fertility journey can be long, frustrating, and lonely. Cost shouldn’t be another barrier, Farnsworth believes. If you are facing fertility treatments and / or IVF on your way to growing your family, it is certainly worth considering the options, from insurance to paying out of pocket in cash.
Check with your insurer first
Usually, your initial fertility consultation and diagnostic blood tests will be covered by an eligible insurance plan. But depending on the state you live in, the coverage could end there.
“Some states require insurance coverage for IVF,” says Farnsworth. “Over the next 12 or 18 months, insurance coverage for IVF will be much more extensive in New York, but in a country like Texas, Florida, or California, there is no coverage for IVF. compulsory insurance and the vast majority of patients will therefore be disbursed. “
And even if you have insurance coverage, live in a state that requires it, or your plan has great benefits, coverage tends to have limitations.
“It’s usually enough to cover one or two cycles,” says Farnsworth. “It’s very common to see a lifetime maximum of $ 25,000 on the benefit, which is basically enough to cover a single cycle of IVF.”
If it takes two or three cycles to have a child, or if you want to have more than one child through IVF, you should expect to pay.
Despite the high cost of IVF and / or fertility treatments and the strong desire to have a child, you should avoid paying for expensive medical procedures with a credit card unless you have a plan for it. repay, says McDonald.
“You really wouldn’t want to put those larger processing amounts on just a regular credit card, because the interest rate on credit cards will typically be high, 23% to 30%, depending on the card,” advises she does.
“Putting tens of thousands of dollars on a credit card can also hurt use of credit and, ultimately, affect your credit score.
On the other hand, if you have the cash to cover IVF, you can put the treatment on a high-paying credit card and get some serious cash back on such a large expense. Load $ 25,000 on a card like the Citi® Double Cash Card, which earns you 1% cashback on all qualifying purchases and an additional 1% cashback when you pay your bill, would earn you $ 500 cash back.
Explore less expensive alternatives
If you don’t have $ 100,000 in cash or don’t want to use up your savings before starting your family, a low-interest loan might be a viable option.
“There are low interest personal loans online these days,” says McDonald. Check for hidden charges, such as set-up costs and prepayment penalties, before taking out a loan. Before applying for the loan, improve your credit score so that you can benefit from the best interest rates and the best payment plans.
Also check with your fertility clinic to see if there are low-risk financing options, such as payment plans or point-of-sale loans. Always check the interest and the cost you are paying over time.
Participating places within the Prelude Fertility Network offer a financing product called Bundl which, according to Farnsworth, was designed to help people become “emotionally bankrupt” – a phrase Farnsworth uses to describe the painful process of rising and falling hopes while awaiting news of pregnancy.
With Bundl, you can purchase multiple rounds of IVF (three is the most common amount, according to Farnsworth) at a reduced price. Patients deposit a deposit (amount varies from patient to patient) and then fund the rest of the cost with a flexible payment plan. The terms range from several months to several years, and no principal payment is required for the first year or until the couple has a baby (they will have to pay interest, however).
“Then if at the end of the three rounds you don’t have a baby at home, that’s a 100% money back guarantee,” says Farnsworth.
The Bundl approach allows fertility clinics to take part of the financial risk. The repayment guarantee reduces the number of people likely to default on the loan, with the aim of expanding access to borrowers with different risk profiles.
The best personal loans to benefit from low interest payment plans
As the world begins to reopen after the coronavirus pandemic, couples and individuals should start thinking about family planning early if they want to have children in the future.
“We are seeing a sharp increase in the number of people who wish to have children later in life,” says Farnsworth. “It’s a more common discussion, I think.”
Whether you just want to start preserving fertility (i.e. freezing eggs and sperm) – which is basically only the first half of IVF – or move forward to having children as soon as possible, you will run into costs every step of the way.
Editorial note: The opinions, analyzes, criticisms or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the editorial staff of Select and have not been reviewed, endorsed or otherwise approved by any third party.