When you’re planning on growing your family there are expenses you mentally prepare for: labor and delivery, diapers, a college fund. Depending on your circumstances, paying for fertility treatment may have never even crossed your mind.
We understand that dealing with the physical and emotional stress of an infertility diagnosis and treatment plan is overwhelming. Determining how to fund treatment is an additional obstacle to navigate. The good news: we have financial resources to help you on your path to parenthood.
Rose Gallucci, Senior Revenue Cycle Manager at Fertility Centers of Illinois, shares some tips for making the cost of treatment more manageable so that you can focus on your fertility journey.
Take advantage of your insurance options. This is a big one because Illinois is a mandated state. Illinois law requires insurance companies to provide coverage for diagnostic tests and treatment to those receiving insurance from an employer with more than 25 employees. As of January 1, 2022, the law is applicable for same-sex couples, women over 35, single persons, and those who cannot get pregnant naturally due to a medical reason.
However, there are exceptions. The law does not apply to individual policies, small group policies (fewer than 25 employees) or insurance policies outside of Illinois (i.e., it may not be covered if you live in Illinois but have insurance through an employer in another state).
If you’re planning on using insurance coverage, make sure to read your plan carefully. You may be fully covered or only covered for a portion of your treatment. Some plans are ‘diagnostic only’ which means that they only cover testing that is done before starting fertility treatment. Your plan may or may not cover aspects of treatment such as medications, outside monitoring, cryopreservation of embryos or genetic testing. You should also pay attention to any details like lifetime maximum coverage, coinsurance costs and deductibles.
Apply for grants. There are several organizations that offer grants and scholarships to help those struggling with infertility. Each grant has its own application timelines, eligibility criteria and dollar amount available to recipients. Some of the requirements may include living in a specific area, being part of a certain demographic or a willingness to share your story publicly if you are chosen. We put together a list of grants to get you started on your search.
Ask about shared risk programs. IVF can feel like a gamble since there’s no 100% guarantee a cycle will be successful. Shared risk programs offer refund options if your treatments aren’t successful, which can provide a little peace of mind. FCI patients can utilize the Fertility Access Program, a multi-cycle program with refund options in the event of a failed cycle. The program is unique to the treatment plan and financial needs of the patient.
Look for discounts. Have you ever Googled available coupons before making a purchase online? Doing similar research for your fertility treatment could save you a lot of green! Apply for discounts and rebates on medications through companies like ReUnite, EMD Serono and Ferring Pharmaceuticals. Specialty pharmacies like Freedom Fertility Pharmacy, Mandell’s Pharmacy, SMP Pharmacy and Village Pharmacy Group also have coupons and discount cards for medications that you can access online.
If you’re a veteran, you may be eligible for additional discounts on fertility services or medications. FCI has partnerships with EMD Serono and The Bob Woodruff Foundation to offer a 25% discount on fertility services to veterans who qualify.
Some providers may also offer you a discount if you’re paying for treatment out of pocket. For patients who don’t have much, or any, fertility coverage as part of their health insurance, FCI offers a discount of 5% off all treatments and procedures to those who qualify (this discount excludes lab tests and self-pay packages).
Find out if your employer offers fertility assistance. More and more companies like Amazon, Chobani and Salesforce are offering fertility benefits as an employee incentive. Although this is still a relatively new concept, it doesn’t hurt to ask your HR representative if your company participates in any benefits programs as long as you feel comfortable doing so.
Take out a fertility treatment loan. If you need to fill the financial gaps of your treatment, there are infertility financing programs from companies like Egg Fund, emBorrow, FutureFamily and CapexMD that offer competitive rates and a variety of loan types. It’s important to consider the cost of the loan combined with interest to determine if this option is right for you.
Our goal is to provide you with caring expertise throughout every step of the process to make exploring your options less stressful. It can be confusing to navigate on your own, so reach out to your insurance provider or funding program with any questions you have. If you’re a patient at FCI, one our financial coordinators will help you explore payment programs and discounts. If you’re using an accepted healthcare plan, they will also go over your insurance coverage with you and help you maximize your coverage.
Ready to take the next step? Schedule a consultation with one of our fertility specialists!