Between unpredictable costs, lack of health insurance coverage for procedures, and the potential to need multiple cycles, IVF is cost-prohibitive. Around 10 percent of women in the United States have difficulty getting and staying pregnant, and IVF gives these women another chance at having a biological child. That’s why many women turn to IVF loans and fertility financing to cover the cost of treatments.
IVF financing is a common option that would-be new parents take in order to get and stay pregnant. However, it’s important to understand the costs of IVF treatments before considering fertility financing.
What is an IVF loan or a fertility loan?
IVF loans fall under the category of medical loans, which are a type of personal loan intended for medical procedures. Personal loans are unsecured, so you won’t need to put anything up for collateral; however, you will need to have an excellent credit score to get the best interest rate.
In addition to being less risky, IVF loans usually have better rates than the fertility financing available through IVF clinics. However, you should always shop around and compare rates to make sure this is the case.
Average cost of IVF and fertility treatments
On average IVF treatments cost about $12,000 per cycle, however, prices vary based on a long list of factors and basic IVF can end up costing as much as $15,000 to $17,000 or as little as about $10,000. .
To begin with, there’s a lot that isn’t included in the basic price, such as pharmaceutical drugs, fertility testing, monitoring, genetic testing of the embryos and surgical procedures to extract sperm. All of these add-ons can cost thousands.
The price you ultimately pay can also vary based on the IVF clinic you’re working with, your medical history, geographic location and even the types of procedures you end up doing. In many cases, the final amount spent averages around $19,234, though it can be as steep as $25,000. And if the first cycle of IVF doesn’t prove successful, a subsequent round can cost about $6,955.
Many IVF recipients can’t afford to pay the steep expenses associated with IVF out of pocket and often turn to IVF loans or other forms of financing to assist with their expenses.
Insurance and fertility treatments
As you begin investigating the costs of infertility treatment, one of the first steps should be to call your insurance provider. There are insurance companies that cover either all or at least some portion of the expenses associated with this type of treatment.
Those who have insurance through a state exchange may also have IVF coverage. In fact, some states, such as California and Texas, require that insurance companies operating within their state provide IVF coverage. To find out what the insurance coverage requirements are where you live, check the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) website, which details IVF coverage requirements for many states.
Bear in mind however that the extent of health insurance coverage for IVF will vary significantly depending on the health insurance company and even based on the state you live in. For instance, in New Jersey, health insurers must provide coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of infertility. This mandate includes covering in vitro fertilization. Louisiana’s laws however state that while insurers are prohibited from excluding coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of conditions that result in infertility, insurers are not required to cover fertility drugs, in vitro fertilization or other assisted reproductive techniques.
According to the NCSL, just 14 states require insurers to cover infertility.
Alternative fertility treatment financing options
If an IVF loan won’t cover all or part of what you need for fertility financing, there are additional options available that can be used to cover in vitro treatments. These can be used on their own or in conjunction with other types of fertility loans.
If you need to cover smaller fertility-related procedures that you can afford to pay off in the next year, look into taking advantage of a credit card with 0% introductory APR. Upon opening the account, you’ll typically have around 12 months before interest begins to accrue on the balance. As long as you’ve paid off the full amount before then, you won’t be charged a dime in interest. Just make sure you can make the payments on time; once this introductory period passes, the interest rate can jump to 25% or higher.
Home equity loan
Some IVF recipients use home equity loans as a form of fertility financing, especially if a personal loan is not an option. Home equity loans are secured using your home, so you’ll have to make the decision if it’s worth putting this on the line in order to get IVF financing. You’ll also need to get your home appraised and make sure you have sufficient equity to cover the cost of fertility treatments.
Home equity line of credit
Home equity lines of credit, or HELOCs, are another IVF financing option that are especially helpful for anyone undergoing a yet-to-be-determined number of IVF cycles. To use a HELOC as a loan for IVF, you simply need to get approved for a line of credit up to a set maximum amount. Then, pay for all or part of each cycle out of that credit line.
You’ll only need to make payments on the amount you withdraw, so if you find success in the first round or two, you won’t have to pay interest on funds you never used.
Some recipients choose to dip into a savings account or retirement investments in order to finance fertility treatments. This is the easiest way to pay for fertility treatments, but it’s rather difficult for some future parents to have a nest egg large enough to pay for even just one round of fertility treatments. However, if a cash windfall or high-interest savings can pay for IVF rounds without incurring interest charges or compromising credit scores or collateral. For the most part, a savings account should be used alongside another financing option to cushion the blow of IVF prices.
Personal loans can be obtained for many of life’s major expenses including covering the cost of IVF. There are lenders who offer general, unsecured loans that can be used to pay for IVF-related expenses and lenders who offer healthcare-specific loans.
LightStream, for instance, offers fixed-rate fertility loans to those who have good credit. These unsecured loans do not require providing any collateral. LendingClub also offers fertility financing options that can be used to cover the costs of IVF, medications, genetic testing, fertility preservation and more. Loans to cover medical needs are also available from Upstart. These are just a few of the options.
There are also loan providers such as CapexMD and FutureFamily, who specialize in exclusively funding IVF needs.
IVF/fertility financing with bad credit
Most medical and IVF loans are personal loans, which means your credit score will be used solely in lieu of collateral to determine your interest rate. If you need IVF financing with bad credit, a secured loan will typically grant you a more favorable interest rate. Look into home equity loans and home equity lines of credit for fertility financing. Depending on your income level, you may also qualify for IVF financing through grants and other types of assistance from nonprofit organizations.
The bottom line
Fertility treatments are one of the most expensive out-of-pocket elective medical procedures you can undergo. Adding the stress of financing to difficulty conceiving makes IVF treatments seem unattainable for many people. With so many financing options available, you can decide if it’s worth pursuing fertility treatments with the assistance of an IVF loan and/or alternative forms of fertility financing.