How Can You Afford Fertility Treatments?

Posted on: 5 October 2015


If you and your partner have been struggling for years to successfully conceive and bear a child, you may be dismayed at what can seem like two equally negative options -- mortgaging your future to pay for expensive fertility treatments with an uncertain outcome, or heartbreak each month as you continue to have trouble conceiving naturally. Are there any ways to help defray the costs of fertility treatments to make them more affordable? What are your options? Read on to learn more about fertility insurance coverage and other ways you may be able to help finance the cost of in vitro fertilization (IVF), intrauterine insertion (IUI), and other treatments.

What fertility treatments may be covered by health insurance?

In some cases, the fertility treatments you could need may already be covered by your primary health insurance plan. For example, if you have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), you may be suffering other health side effects in addition to infertility -- everything from unexplained weight gain to anemia from heavy periods. Treating the PCOS may help alleviate these symptoms while naturally boosting your fertility, but because this treatment is not specifically classified as a fertility treatment, it will be covered under your primary insurance plan just like the treatment of diabetes or heart disease. For men, a varicocele (or small varicose vein in the scrotum) can increase testicular temperature, killing otherwise healthy sperm. Cauterizing this varicocele may be enough to aid conception without other intervention and will also be subject to coverage under your primary healthcare plan.

In other cases, you may be able to purchase health insurance that specifically covers certain fertility treatments through your state's Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchange. Currently, eight states require their exchanges to offer at least one plan with fertility coverage. Because plans can vary widely by state, you may find that your options are limited. Depending upon your ages, the mobility of your jobs, and the other resources at your disposal, it may be worthwhile to move to a state offering more generous insurance benefits long enough to take advantage of these benefits to receive treatment. While plans offering fertility coverage may have a higher deductible or premium cost than comparable plans without this coverage, it's generally worthwhile to pay this increased cost for the time it takes to receive treatment, rather than paying out of pocket for both health insurance and fertility treatments.

Are there other ways to fund fertility treatments without paying out of pocket?

If you're unable to procure any insurance plans that will cover the fertility treatments you and your partner need in order to conceive, you may need to come up with another way to fund this venture. One method that has enjoyed much success recently is crowdfunding. By setting up a donation site on one of any number of web platforms, you'll be able to share your story and solicit donations from friends, acquaintances, and strangers from around the globe. While these websites usually charge a portion of all donations received as an administrative fee, you'll be able to keep most of the funds yourself and can direct them from everything to the fertility treatments themselves to the costs of travel, lodging, or other expenses incurred during the treatment process. (Don't forget to set aside a portion of these funds to pay the taxes you'll likely owe on the donations.)

You may also be able to cash in an existing whole life insurance policy. Using the proceeds from this policy, you can purchase cheaper term life insurance that will help your spouse and future child survive financially in your absence and can use the remaining funds to help pay for fertility treatments or fund other expenses. 

For more information, you may want to contact local insurance companies like NFP, P & C, Inc.