In this “Fertility Chronicles” blog, we continue to discuss ways patients can manage the costs of their IVF treatments. To help you make a more informed financial decision on IVF, check out the free online Univfy IVF Cost Calculator. Our calculator can help you decide between various IVF packages available from your clinic, given your chances of IVF success.
When IVF costs run from $12,000 to $15,000 for a single cycle, no doubt many patients worry how they can afford one IVF treatment, let alone multiple ones that might be required until they achieve a successful pregnancy. To help patients cope with the financial challenge, many clinics offer help from discounts to loans.
Fertility clinic programs can include offering multiple cycles for a reduced price per cycle, sometimes including partial or full refunds if the treatment isn’t successful. Clinics can also partner with finance companies that can offer loans for IVF treatment. And some clinics offer special discounts for patients with great financial need and/or those in public service professions. In this blog, we discuss such programs from a few clinics and clinic groups, including Houston IVF, the ARC Fertility Group, and the Attain Fertility Network. For more information on how to apply to their programs, please click on the preceding links.
Houston IVF: Ron McDaniel, Executive Director of Houston IVF in Houston, Tex., explains that his clinic offers multicycle packages with discounts ranging from 10% to 20%, depending on the patient’s age. Houston IVF will be offering a refund package soon to qualified candidates. Patients would receive a refund if their attempts at IVF fail. Then, patients have the option of using that refund “possibly to go adopt,” he says.
Houston IVF also refers patients to Springstone, a finance company that offers loans for major medical procedures. Houston IVF patients can borrow in amounts from $2,000 to $40,000 at rates as low as 5.99% to help with their IVF costs. In addition, the Houston IVF Compassionate Care program offers a discount for patients who qualify according to their household income. The clinic also encourages patients to apply for grants from Fertile Hope and the Cade Foundation.
McDaniel notes that his fertility clinic has a high success rate. Houston IVF’s 2011 live birth success rate for women ages 35 to 37, for example, is 35.8%, compared to a 2011 national average of 31.9%, according to the latest data available from the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) as of Oct. 24.
ARC Fertility Group: The ARC Fertility Group offers three types of multicycle plans to help with IVF costs: A two-cycle program (one fresh and one frozen), a four-cycle plan (two fresh and two frozen), and a six-cycle program (three fresh and three frozen). Specific pricing varies by fertility clinic. ARC member clinics can also choose to offer ARC’s 100% refund plan on some or all of the multicycle programs, though some clinics may choose not to offer refunds on the two- and four-cycle packages. (ARC did not provide us with an interview, and this information comes from its Web site as of Oct. 23.)
Attain Fertility Network: The Attain Fertility Network, another national IVF group, offers multicycle plans at discounts from 30% to 40% off the costs of paying for the cycles one by one. The programs helping with IVF costs vary by its member fertility clinics. In general, Attain offers multicycle programs for patients using their own eggs and those using donor eggs. For patients who qualify, Attain also can provide partial or full refunds if their treatment is unsuccessful.
“By taking care of finances upfront, we eliminate much of the stress over how much to spend and how many times to try,” says Shelly Galvin, Director of Communications and Community Affairs at IntegraMed Fertility, which runs the Attain Fertility Network. About 80% of patients who complete Attain’s programs bring home a baby, as the plans help patients “commit to the treatment plan their doctor designed for them,” she says. Moreover, 92% of patients who qualify for Attain’s Refund Programs—and 98% for those who use donor eggs--succeed.
For patients using their own eggs, Attain offers two programs: Patients can purchase the four-cycle plan (two fresh and two frozen). Patients in this plan, who opt not to undergo the second cycle, are eligible for a partial refund. Patients using their own eggs can also opt for the six cycle plan (three fresh and three frozen). If the cycles are not successful, patients may be eligible for a 70% to 100% rebate, depending on their clinic. To participate in the refund programs for these two types of plans, patients need to meet certain medical criteria.
The average Attain multicycle program cost for up to two fresh and two frozen cycles is $18,000, compared to the average a la carte cost of $27,000, or a discount of 30%, according to Attain's website (as of Oct. 22). Similarly, the average cost of a refund plan for up to three fresh and three frozen cycles is $24,000, compared to the average a la carte cost of $40,500, or a discount of 40%, according to the Web site.
In addition, patients using donor eggs are eligible for a plan covering up to three fresh and unlimited frozen cycles with a refund up to 100% if the treatment isn’t successful or if the patient chooses to stop treatment for any reason.
Attain also offers certain patients an additional 20% discount. These patients include those in the military, veterans, first responders, teachers and patients in significant financial need.
Univfy IVF Cost Calculator: The option of multicycle plans and these other financing programs from clinics can make the cost of IVF more manageable for many patients. But if you are finding it confusing to choose between paying for a single cycle or a multicycle plan, the free online Univfy IVF Cost Calculator can help you figure out the package that’s best for you and your budget, given your chance of IVF success.