In vitro fertilization (IVF) is one of the best ways to overcome infertility and have a child. IVF treatment plans have come a long way since the procedure was first introduced. In recent days, there are many different medications and treatment plans to choose from. Each plan is individually created to cater to your specific medical history. For many couples, the safest way of having a child is through an IVF treatment plan. Unfortunately, IVF treatment is often expensive. Each individual cycle typically costs between $10,000 to $20,000. Depending on your medical history, you may end up with an even pricier plan. There is also no guarantee your first round of treatment leads to a successful pregnancy. Many couples require multiple cycles. While each subsequent cycle is less expensive, these costs can quickly add up.
Unlike other medical procedures, you may not be able to rely on your insurance to cover IVF treatments. Most states do not cover infertility treatment under base insurance, since it is not technically a required medical procedure. As of writing, there are only 16 states with infertility insurance coverage laws in place. Even in these states, you may not be able to use your insurance to cover all your IVF treatment costs. If you are planning on enrolling in an IVF treatment cycle, you must decide whether you want to pay out of pocket or use your insurance.
Individual Insurance Plans
Most couples look towards individual insurance plans if their current insurance does not provide IVF coverage. There are several insurance plans which cater specifically towards infertility issues, sometimes referred to as fertility riders. The issue with these plans is the coverage is often incredibly limited. In some cases, you are not told whether or not your IVF treatment plan is covered by your insurance until after you enroll in the plan.
The issue is, even fertility riders provide extremely specific IVF coverage. You may only be eligible if you enroll through a select clinic and use a narrow selection of IVF medications. Unlike with other medical procedures, there is a huge selection of treatment options for IVF. Having a narrow selection may completely invalidate your treatment plan, since many IVF medications only work if they are taken alongside other medications. This is due to medications changing hormone levels and other factors in your body. In many cases, you are taking additional medication solely to limit the side effects from the first medication you were prescribed. Without those additional medications, the base medication does nothing.
Another issue with individual insurance plans is the deductibles and copays. Many individual fertility riders carry unfavorable deductibles, meaning you are still paying out of pocket for the majority of the costs. You may even end up spending more because you are also paying for the insurance on top of the majority of the medical expenses.
The best-case scenario for most couples is their insurance does help out with some of the costs, most commonly with fees for blood work and other basic testing, but the rest is paid for out of pocket. It is still worth going over your existing insurance plan to see what is and is not available, but it is rarely advised to purchase a new insurance plan outright to try and cover IVF related expenses.
Health Savings Plan (HSA)
While you are looking at what your insurance covers, make sure you go over the entire plan. Some couples only look at whether or not infertility treatment is covered. Most insurance plans do not cover infertility treatment, but may have something called an HSA. An HSA refers to a portion of your insurance payment which is set aside for medical costs not covered by your insurance plan. In most cases, you will not be able to pay for the entirety of your IVF treatment with your HSA, but you can at least use the available funds to put a dent into the costs, reducing how much you must pay out of pocket.
Getting the Best Deal on Out of Pocket Expenses
Paying for any medical procedure out of pocket is a daunting task. However, IVF treatments are best when you have the freedom to select the medications and procedures. It is not uncommon for couples to choose to pay out of pocket for IVF treatments even if they have insurance coverage because of how limiting the coverage is. IVF procedures become expensive when you need multiple cycles, so the best way to reduce costs is by limiting how many cycles you need.
Choosing Where to Buy IVF Medication
Once you are unshackled from your insurance plan, you have the freedom to purchase IVF medication wherever you want. Most insurance providers require you to purchase either specific medication or only go through select sellers. The cost of IVF medication varies greatly depending on where you buy it. There is a good chance your IVF treatment plan requires at least two or three medications, if not more. Depending on where you purchase your medication from, you may end up spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars extra. Even if your insurance normally covers a portion of your IVF prescriptions, you may ultimately spend less by buying from a pharmacy outside of your coverage.
If you are looking for the best prices on IVF medication, make sure you consider online pharmacies. Online pharmacies often have the best prices available, even if you factor in additional costs such as shipping. Discounted prices does not mean the medication is any less effective. Online pharmacies carry many of the same brands sold in traditional pharmacies, with the only differences in the product being the price.
For example, one of the most common IVF medications, Gonal-F costs between $800 and $1000 when you look at some of the big-name pharmacies, such as Avella, Freedom Fertility or SMP Pharmacy. At IVFPrescriptions, you can get the same medication for under $500. Follistim, another common IVF medication is priced around $800 at Walgreens, MDR USA and MetroDrugs, but you can get it for a little over $450 by shopping through IVFPrescriptions.com instead.
Ivfprescriptions.com has been partnering with couples for more than three decades, and is one of the primary suppliers of infertility drugs to clinics, hospitals, and fertility clinics worldwide. You can buy infertility drugs online directly from us as well. Call today to find out more!