Lately, there has been many advertisements and discussion around the topic of infertility among married couples. From billboards to television commercials and magazine articles, Infertility and In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is front and center to most. Perhaps it feels that way, as it has become a personal conversation for my wife and I. Naturally, the importance of the subject matter committed me to finding out more.
After doing extensive research, I found that infertility is fairly common. Out of every 100 couples in the United States, roughly 13 of those couples will have problems getting pregnant, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Infertility is on the rise and becoming more frequent. There are many reasons for this increase in infertility, but a big factor is that people are choosing to have a family at a later stage in life than previous decades.
In Vitro Fertilization or IVF is the next step to having a natural birth and although IVF provides a much higher chance of having a child, it also comes with a much higher price tag. I was shocked to learn that the average cost of a single round of IVF is around $12,000-$15,000. That was just for a single round of IVF. But there are additional costs that tack onto that price tag. There might be additional necessary treatments that up your costs by $6,000 to $15,000, such as embryo freezing or genetic testing of embryos (PGD). If additional rounds of IVF are needed, multiply all costs by the number of rounds.
These costs can add up quick and take a couple by surprise, leaving them wondering how they will ever afford it. As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, this left me wondering how I can help others plan financially for the overwhelming costs that come with infertility.
Infertility can be a difficult experience, emotionally and physically, and you may not know where to turn for accurate information about your options. Here are some tips for saving and preparing for infertility issues before they happen:
Review Your Health Insurance
Make sure you review both your current insurance coverages, as well as other insurance plans to make sure you are getting the most coverage for all pregnancy-related needs. Most health insurance providers do not cover IVF, so make sure you are getting the most that you can from your health insurance provider.
Maximize Your HSA Contributions
If you have a high deductible health plan, you should contributing to a Health Savings Plan (HSA) for unforeseen medical expenses on a tax-efficient basis. Fertility treatments like IVF as well as egg and sperm storage are considered qualified medical expenses.
Open A High-Yield Money Market Account
If you can’t contribute to a HSA plan or FSA plan, then open a high-yield money market account to put extra savings towards that are ear-marked for pregnancy or infertility costs. This type of account may require a minimum amount, such as $2,000, to open the account, but having a segregated account is worth the minimum.
Zero-Interest Credit Card
Although not the first place to turn, applying for a zero-interest credit card can really help with those spill-over costs. By opening a zero-interest credit card now, this allows you to borrow the extra money with no interest for typically 12 months.
If you are already dealing with the emotional and difficult situation of infertility, there are options to help you pay for those associated costs. Below are a couple of methods for payment:
Many clinics are now offering payment programs to make infertility easier on the wallet. These are usually very flexible options with little or no interest added to the total cost.
There is also refund programs that can help make the overall costs a little less burdensome. With refund programs, you can receive portions of your initial pre-set costs back if you are not pregnant by the third or fourth IVF treatment cycle. The refund program is really just hedging against the risk of having to go through more cycles than expected. If you get pregnant in the first couple of cycles, you would likely spend more money than necessary.
If you have exhausted all resources, crowdfunding is a viable source of funds. Crowdfunding has now become a popular method of raising funds, even for personal needs such as IVF treatments.
Infertility is a very difficult situation and that last stressor that’s needed is learning your financial options. Let this information serve as a helpful resource when preparing to have children or if you are already dealing with infertility. Lifepoint Financial Design is here to help you, no matter what your current Lifepoint is.
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