While the gift of parenthood is priceless, in real-world terms, the path to parenthood can be expensive. This is especially true for people who are struggling to conceive. Each prospective parent’s needs are different, and depending on the specific services needed, fertility treatment can range from thousands of dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. There’s no one-size-fits-all cost regarding conception and knowing the potential fees. We've put together this Finance Guide for Fertility Treatment to highlight typical costs, financing providers, working with insurance, and more.
Your options for meeting these expenses can help you to be financially prepared before you embark on your family-building journey.
Your Fertility Treatment Financial Guide: Typical Costs for Common Fertility Treatments and Services
Fertility treatments run the gamut of cost, from $5k or less for IUI to six figures for a surrogate with donor eggs. Common treatments include:
IUI (Intrauterine Insemination)
Intrauterine insemination, which involves introducing sperm into the uterus, is at the low end of the financial spectrum at somewhere between $2000 and $4000. Natural IUI, which relies on natural ovulation, is less expensive; stimulated IUI, which involves using drugs to stimulate ovulation, is in the higher range.
IVF (In Vitro Fertilization)
The average cost of IVF, including any drugs or hormones used in the process, as some clinics may bill these separately.
IVF with Donor Eggs
On average donor eggs are around $25,000. This often does not include expenses such as medications for both donor and recipient, so be clear on what is and is not included in the price. Fresh donor eggs are more expensive than frozen, and some clinics have shared donor programs that can reduce costs.
The total cost of conceiving using donor sperm depends on the method of conception (IUI, IVF, or surrogacy), but the sperm is usually $900 to $1000 per vial.
Surrogacy is, not surprisingly, the most expensive option and can cost $100,000 or more.
While your clinic should have an in-depth discussion with you about the potential costs of treatment and financing available, having an idea of the procedures and costs involved ahead of time can help ensure you’re on a firm financial footing before you undertake treatment. You can explore the limits of your insurance coverage, seek out potential financing options to fill the gaps, and find a provider who will help you make the most of the resources you have.
Discussing Fertility Treatment with Your Health Insurer
Insurer coverage of fertility treatment is increasingly common, but exactly what is covered and when can vary wildly. Contact your insurance company to get a clear picture of covered treatments and medications, what your expected financial responsibility is, and any limitations you should be aware of. Key questions to ask:
- Does your policy cover infertility?
- If yes, what specific treatments? Is there a yearly or lifetime allowance for treatment?
- Is there an age limit or hormone level requirement (AMH or Day 3 FSH within normal range)?
- Do you need prior authorization from your OB/Gyn or primary care provider? If not, does it at least cover diagnostic testing? Obtaining tests with your gynecologist in network with your insurance before seeing a fertility specialist may reduce out-of-pocket costs.
- What about fertility medications?
- If yes, is there a specialty pharmacy you must use? Will all of your medications go there, or only injectables? If you’re using an egg donor, will her medications be covered? Is there a maximum allowance, either yearly or lifetime, for infertility, and if so, do medications count toward it? Will you need prior authorization?
- And, of course, regarding treatment and medications, you’ll need to know your deductibles, if there’s a co-payment and how much.
These questions are just a starting place. If you’re already working with a fertility clinic, they can help fine-tune your list to ensure all your bases are covered. Take notes, request things in writing, and don’t be afraid to ask more questions or for clarification of anything you don’t understand.
Financing is Usually an Option
Many clinics partner with loan providers who specialize in loans for fertility treatment, and some may offer in-house financing. The clinic’s financial department can help you explore your financing options and find a solution that best fits your budget and needs.=
Explore Grants, Medication Discounts, and Other Cost-Saving Programs
Many programs can help reduce the cost of fertility treatment, including grants intended to help people struggling with infertility for various reasons. Each grant will have its own eligibility criteria and rules and may cover all treatments or only certain services. Grants may be very specific and localized (they may only be available to residents of certain cities, for example), or they may be open to anyone.
Some large employers, such as Amazon and Chobani, offer fertility benefits as a perk. Clinics may also offer a discount to veterans, and there are targeted programs intended to support specific demographics, such as cancer survivors in their fertility journey.
Finally, one area where savings are almost certainly possible is the pharmacy. Sites such as GoodRx can help you shop for the pharmacy with the lowest price and find coupons that can significantly lower the cost of some medications. Drug manufacturers may offer discount cards or rebates of their own.
Seeking out information on what programs are available can be time-consuming, but it can save you a great deal of money.
Your Journey is Unique, and Your Financial Needs Are Too
Parenthood should be an attainable goal for everyone, and there are programs and possibilities to help you overcome financial hurdles no matter your situation and let our experts guide you on the first steps down the path to parenthood.