What payment options exist if insurance won’t cover my IVF procedure?

One of the biggest obstacles for couples facing infertility issues is the cost of in vitro fertilization (IVF) and other assisted reproductive technology (ART). IVF is the most widely-used and effective ART method for couples who want to conceive a child.

The average cost for one standard IVF cycle is $14,000 in Minnesota, which doesn’t include medication. IVF drugs can run anywhere from $50 to a few thousand dollars, depending upon what the doctor prescribes and how often you must take them. For some couples, multiple cycles are needed to achieve conception.

Few states require infertility coverage

So far, only 19 state legislatures have passed laws requiring insurance companies to offer infertility coverage, but only eight mandate policies related to IVF procedures. Minnesota has no such mandate in place. In fact, the only state law related to infertility pertains to Medicaid, providing that medical assistance doesn’t cover drugs used to enhance fertility.

Infertility issues are not uncommon

The National Conference of State Legislatures estimates that roughly 10% of women of childbearing age have received insurance benefits or other assistance for infertility. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that ART accounts for about 2% of all births in the United States.

According to research, approximately one out of every 10 couples have fertility challenges. Some evidence shows as many as half of infertility cases may result from male factors, such as low sperm count. In addition, about one out of 10 women have trouble staying pregnant during their childbearing years.

Payment options for Minnesotans considering IVF

For many couples who want to have a child, it’s not about the money. IVF and other forms of ART are not exclusively for the wealthy. In Minnesota, it’s advisable to seek out experienced legal expertise when assessing your options. These may include:

  • Insurance: While coverage is not mandated for IVF procedures, check your private or employer-sponsored plan to see whether they cover specific forms of treatment.  In some cases, individual employees have successfully lobbied their employers for coverage that didn’t previously exist.  An experienced ART attorney can direct you to resources that may help you become your own best advocate.
  • Grants: Some private organizations, including certain non-profits, offer grants for IVF and other family-building treatments.  An experienced ART attorney should have some knowledge of these options.
  • Loans/Credit cards: Applying for a personal loan from your bank or credit union is an option, and there are a number of lenders that focus solely on people paying for infertility treatments.

Despite the cost, people of all income levels are successfully managing to build and grow their families through IVF. However, if you are considering ART, knowing what those expenses will be and how to pay for them can relieve a lot of stress and anxiety. An attorney specializing in assisted reproduction law can either explain the options available or direct you to other resources that can.