How To Navigate The Commerce Of Conception
How To Cut Costs
Shop wisely for your clinic. Some try to mitigate patients’ out-of-pocket risk.
Batzofin Fertility, for example, offers a refund.
“At $18,750 for three cycles, you’ll get a refund of 75 percent, if you have not achieved a positive outcome after three cycles.”
Another cost-saving approach is to look for clinics staffed by multiple doctors, which negotiate group rates with insurance companies for themselves, and ultimately, for you.
“Many of the big IVF centers now are contracting and accepting insurance for infertility," says Matera. "If the center has contracted that rate with an insurance company, the only out of pocket expense for the patient will be co-insurance.”
If you opt for an egg donor, doctors can offer cost savings by divvying up the eggs from one donor between multiple recipients.
“In most circumstances, we can split the eggs – half to one couple, half to another couple," explains Madera. "This is about $10,000 cheaper because the couples are splitting the cost of monitoring and treating the donor.”
Dr. Matera also suggests freezing and storing extra embryos if you can, as an insurance policy all its own, which costs about $1,500 the first year and $1000 per year thereafter."
If costs remain insurmountable, several companies offer treatment loans such as Springstone Patient Financing and the Advanced Reproductive Care. The interest rate range for an ARC loan ranges from 5 percent to 17.9 percent, depending on your credit history, debt-to-credit ratio and employment status.
Finally, if you’re frustrated by what appears the absence of industry standards, there’s good reason.
The U.S. stands alone among developed nations in lacking ART regulation. Here, the governing body for infertility clinics is the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, ASRM, which gives guidelines and recommendations – not legal mandates.
“Lack of regulation causes massive uncertainties," says Spar. "So, buyers beware. What happens if the egg doesn’t take? Is it the clinic’s liability? In this country, it’s proven close to impossible to get a regulatory response.”