Wondering how to save money on IVF? About 6 weeks after my son was born, I looked at my husband and said, let’s have more kids! He thought I was a total crazy lady, but I just felt ready. I love being a mom and had no idea how much fun it was going to be. A year passed with no sibling for our little guy. Then another year passed. And another. Finally, after 3 years of trying, we figured it was time to see a fertility doctor just to make sure everything was OK.
Unfortunately for us, everything wasn’t OK, and we ultimately made the decision (a very tough decision for us) to proceed with IVF (in vitro fertilization). The decision was hard for a lot of reasons, not the least of which was because we were in the middle of paying off $650,000 of student loan debt and had no idea how we were going to be able to afford IVF.
Fortunately, we were able to find all kinds of resources on how to save money on IVF during our journey, which I am excited to share with you. (P.S.– I am currently pregnant with twins as a result of IVF! I’m happy to report that we were able to find deep enough deals/discounts that we were able to keep up our debt repayment while undergoing IVF. So if you are feeling strapped financially and desperately wanting to grow your family, it is totally doable!)
SHOP AROUND FOR A FERTILITY CLINIC
One of the most important ways you can save money on IVF is by shopping around for the right fertility clinic. For us, this made our IVF costs about half of what they would have been if we had just gone with the first clinic that was recommended to us.
Find out how much the clinic charges for the entire IVF process. This will likely include some fertility testing, ultrasounds, blood tests, medications, egg retrieval, and the actual IVF procedure. Some clinics will charge a lump sum for all of the above, some clinics will charge a lump sum for some of these things and then charge for additional things (for example, they may have a flat fee for the egg retrieval and IVF transfer, but then charge you individually for each ultrasound or blood test you have). Find out how you’ll be charged and how much you’ll be charged for the entire process so you can compare to other clinics.
In addition, you’ll need to find out when each payment will be due. Ask the clinic whether they provide payment plans or require upfront payments.
One thing you might consider doing is traveling to another area to get a cheaper price. The first fertility clinic we looked at was in Missouri and was going to cost us over $20,000 for one round of IVF. We started saving up for IVF, ended up moving to Arizona, and found a clinic that ended up costing us just over $10,000. So even if we had to fly here several times for IVF, we still would have saved thousands of dollars.
You might even consider IVF abroad and look into costs and success rates in areas where the cost of living is low.
USE GOODRX FOR YOUR IVF PRESCRIPTIONS
Another good way to save money on IVF is to make sure you are getting the lowest prices on your prescriptions. Your medications make up a huge part of the cost of IVF. One way to save thousands of dollars on IVF is to use the app GoodRx for your prescriptions, even if you have health insurance that will cover some of your medication. GoodRx will still give you discounts on top of what your insurance might give you. I personally didn’t have health insurance when I did IVF and GoodRx was a total life saver for us! We ended up spending a total of $3800 on our IVF medication thanks to GoodRx, that made them cost about half of what they normally would.
CONTACT YOUR HEALTH INSURANCE COMPANY
Some health insurance companies will pay for certain parts of IVF. Your fertility clinic will probably be able to help you figure out what exactly is covered, but you’ll want to talk directly to your insurance company to see what exactly will be covered. If your insurance will cover any portion of IVF, it is most likely to be initial consulting and diagnostic testing. You’ll also want to ask if they cover any portion of your medications, if there are specific pharmacies you will have to use, and whether the actual procedures (egg retrieval and the actual IVF transfer) are covered. You may have to get pre-approval for some or all of the above, so do make sure that contacting your health insurance is at the top of your list.
APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIPS AND GRANTS
There are literally thousands of scholarships and grants available to couples who are seeking fertility treatment such as IVF. One problem that we encountered is that many of them require an application fee to be considered, usually anywhere between $50-$100. You will of course want to factor in the costs of the fees to apply. Ideally, you’d find scholarships and grants that you are most likely to get and only apply for those. Remember, it might seem like a lot of money to apply, but if you can get a scholarship or grant it can literally save you $10,000 or more on your treatment! Well worth it.
USE YOUR HSA OR FSA.
If you have an HSA or FSA, consider saving into these funds and using them on your IVF treatment. The biggest benefit to this is tax savings– the more money you put toward your HSA or FSA, the higher your likelihood of being in lower tax bracket which will save you money. In addition, none of the money in your HSA or FSA will be taxed. These savings can really add up! For more info on the benefits of HSA’s, see this post on How to Save Money with an HSA.
USE SHARED RISK OR REFUND PROGRAMS
Many fertility clinics these days will offer shared risk or refund programs if you don’t get pregnant from IVF. Usually these will cover multiple rounds of IVF. For example, one of the fertility clinics we looked into offered us 3 rounds of IVF for $35,000. If we didn’t get pregnant, they would refund us half that amount. While this can be a really good deal, if you get pregnant on the first round, you’ll likely pay more than you would have for just one round of IVF. You’ll also want to make sure you read all the fine print and understand what is and isn’t covered in that amount.
CONSIDER FERTILITY TOURISM
To save money on IVF, you might consider fertility tourism. Fertility tourism is when you travel to another country to receive fertility treatment. I have personally known women who have traveled to Mexico, Barbados, and Thailand to receive IVF. If you are considering this option, definitely do your research on the fertility clinic. Find out their success rates and make sure that you and your partner are going to be safe. While this option can save you thousands of dollars on the actual procedure, you obviously want the procedure to be safe and effective.
Another way you can save money on IVF is by crowd sourcing through money raising websites such as Go Fund Me. It’s possible that lots of friends and family would be willing to help you out on your journey to grow your family if they knew you were struggling and had the means to help out.
CAN I GET IVF FOR FREE?
Wondering, “can I get IVF for free?”
There are TONS of scholarships and grants available to future parents who are seeking out IVF. Be sure to reach out to your fertility clinic for local scholarships that you may have a higher chance of getting. Otherwise, here is a big list of ones you can apply for.
HOW MUCH DOES IVF COST?
If you are looking for more information to find out how much IVF costs, be sure to check out my blog post on what we paid. I also lay out what is kind of a normal range to pay. Know that it can vary a lot depending on where you live: How Much IVF Costs.
The journey to grow your family can be really frustrating and expensive when it requires fertility treatment. Know that you aren’t alone and there are tons of ways you can save on treatment. If you’re ever feeling alone on your journey, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me! I’ve totally been there and can hopefully answer some questions you might have, especially if you are trying to get pregnant while meeting other financial goals such as paying off debt.
Know of any other ways to save money on IVF? Drop a comment below!