IVF is expensive. Find out how YOU can afford IVF.
Are you staring down the path of IVF wondering how you are going to afford it? Well, you’re in good company because we’ve been there too. The whole process is daunting and overwhelming but keep the faith. YOU WILL BE A MOM (or dad) SOON. If you don’t know much about what the process entails, you can find that here.
Let”s talk money… $25,000 is not exactly pocket change for the normal Joe Shmo and that’s why I hope that what I am about to say next will help you find the courage to proceed with this process and afford IVF.
1. Side Hustle
In this day and age, there are so many ways to make money. You can make money online, in your car, and even in your garage. I know it’s hard, but pick up a side hustle for the next 6 months. See how much more money you can put towards the baby fund. You would be surprised at how quickly it adds up and how fast you’ll be able to afford IVF. Here are some popular side hustles that you can begin TODAY:
- Ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft. I am sure you have heard of these before and they are a great way to make some extra cash on the side. You will want to look into the pros and cons of ride-sharing to see if it is worth it for you. **If you decide to do this, make sure you have auto insurance that covers this!
- Do you have a clean house with perhaps an extra bedroom and bathroom? Why not rent it out on airbnb.com? Yeah, it may be weird to have strangers come and stay in your house, but it’s only temporary, and if it will help you have a baby, wouldn’t it be worth it? *Make sure to check your cities rules and regulations on renting out your home.
- Perhaps you are thinking that you don’t have any extra rooms in your house to rent out. Maybe it’s because you have too much
junkstuff laying around. I can help you solve that one. Have a garage sale! Sure, they aren’t always a huge success, but they will force you to make room for a guest or better yet…a baby!
- Do you enjoy shopping? Does your significant other roll their eyes when you tell them you are hitting the mall? What if I told you that you could make money shopping for other people? I’ll be honest…it’s not clothes shopping, but it’s still shopping! Sign up to become a shopper for Shipt or Instacart and earn up to $40 an hour! Just make sure you take into account the gas and miles you’re putting on your car.
- Online Tutoring. Are you a native English speaker? Do you have a passion for a certain subject area? Then you might want to consider tutoring. VIPKid, Magic Ears, and Cambly might be good options for you. Each have their pros and cons so make sure you do your research!
There are so many more options to choose from so if none of these suit your fancy, fire up that computer of yours and consult your good buddy Google. Don’t tell me that you don’t spend time with him researching every twinge in your abdomen because I know you do. 😉 I do too!
2. Create and Follow a Budget
Budgets are so so important for managing your money. If you want to save money, then you need to know where your money is going. Don’t be that person who says “I don’t know where all my money goes”. Be the person with a budget who can say “I know exactly where my money goes each month”. According to a Gallup poll only about 32% of Americans create and follow a monthly budget. Start tracking your money NOW! I don’t care how you do it, just do it. Is it easy? No. Is it worth it? Is having a baby worth it? The answer to both of those questions is a resounding yes!
There are many options when creating a budget. You can write it out on paper the old school way (my personal favorite), you can use an excel spreadsheet, or you can use a handy and convenient app on your smartphone. The morale of the story is, how can you have a goal to afford IVF when you don’t have a plan to get you there? A budget is a plan. You might have to forego that awesome mountain bike or a night out on the town, but wouldn’t it be worth it to afford a baby and not be in debt up to your eyeballs? Don’t even get me started on Dave Ramsey. If you haven’t heard of him, go check him out! He’s the budget master.
3. Discount Medication Programs
This is one of those ideas I wish I could scream from the rooftop because I don’t feel like enough people know about this. Unfortunately, you cannot lessen the cost much when it comes to IVF, but this is one way to help save yourself some serious money and ultimately afford IVF. Here are some discount IVF medication programs/websites:
- Compassionate Care Program– This is an amazing program that you can use to help you offset the costs of IVF medication if you qualify. There are several ways to qualify. If you or your spouse is in the military (yes, the national guard counts) then you qualify. If you and your spouse are not in the military, don’t fear! You can also receive a discount based on your income. And, even if you have a cancer diagnosis and want to preserve your eggs for a future time, you can utilize this discount program!
- ReUnite Assist– This program is very similar to the compassionate care program where it is based on financial need, but they also have a 25% off military discount and discounts for fertility preservation. Be prepared to show proof of income by uploading tax documents.
- GoodRX– This isn’t necessarily a program, but more of a resource to help you find the best price for your medications. Just type in the name of the prescription that you need and options from places like Walmart down to online pharmacies will pop up with a price. Bam! Just like that, you can see which places are cheaper and which places you may want to avoid.
4. Grants & Scholarships
That’s right. Grants and scholarships are not just for college. There is money out there to be had, people! You just have to go find it! Here is a list of IVF scholarships and grants that I have come across. What better way to afford IVF than to find money that people are just willing to give you?? If you know of any others, please comment below and share!
- Baby Quest Foundation– $50 application fee- Grant Deadline March 10, 2021
- Cade Foundation– $50 application fee- Grant Deadline July 1, 2021
- Journey to Parenthood– Application Fee Unknown- Next Grant cycle opens in August 2021
- The Samfund- Application Fee Unknown- Next Grant Cycle opens September 2021- You must be a cancer survivor to be eligible.
- Hope for Fertility– Grant Cycle is OPEN NOW. Applications for the next grant cycle are due May 1, 2021
- Parental Hope– $50 application fee- Next Grant Cycle opens May 2021
This is a great list of grants, however, some grants only apply to people who reside in a certain state or country so be sure to do a google search on your state or country. I.E. IVF Grants in Idaho, Infertility Grants for Texans. Good luck in your search.
5. Medical Tourism
Who says you cannot take a vacation DURING IVF? It is not uncommon to travel out of state or even out of the country to receive treatment at a deeply discounted rate. Common countries to travel to for a less expensive round of IVF include France ( $4,200), Spain ($5,500-6,500), Greece ($5, 200-$5,600).
When you are doing your research on this topic, make sure to add up your travel expenses. After travel expenses, it may not be worth it anymore…unless you are okay with that! Honestly, if my husband had more time off from work, we might have done this, but obviously, this option won’t work for everyone.
For more information and resources on this topic, you can visit Fertility Clinics Abroad.
You may not be able to afford IVF at the moment you are reading this, but, eventually, with the help of friends and family, you might just be able to! So, what is crowdfunding exactly? Well, I am so glad you asked! Crowdfunding is simply “raising funds from a crowd”. The main source of these funds will be raised from people you know so if you do not want everyone you know in your business of making a baby, I would not suggest this option. If you are someone who takes on the mentality “the more the merrier” then I would go for it! As with anything, make sure you do your research and choose the best crowdfunding site for YOU. Most, if not all of these sites have some sort of fees associated with raising funds with them.
Some suggestions on websites to go with include:
For more information on how to begin this process, please visit Very Well Family.
7. Read Your Insurance Policy
More than likely, your insurance will not cover IVF, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t cover anything. I have learned that oftentimes ultrasounds and blood work are covered when things like Clomid or Femara are not.
Insurance is a tricky and complicated thing. When looking into your coverage in terms of fertility coverage, I would begin by reading the Summary Plan Description. This should outline your coverage pretty well but may not answer all of your questions. If you still find yourself with questions, may I suggest writing a list of questions and calling your insurance company? Some of these questions may include:
- What does my fertility coverage look like?
- Are clomid, femara, or metformin covered?
- What procedures relating to fertility will I need a pre-authorization for?
- Do you cover a HSG or Sonohystogram?
- What is my deductible?
- What is my copay for a specialty clinic?
Unfortunately, I have learned that insurance companies are not really willing to work with you especially on the topic of fertility. But I would suggest speaking with the financial department at your RE’s office to ask them how they code things to get them covered by your insurance company. Doctors are very helpful in coding things in a certain way to save you money. Hallelujah because this stuff ain’t cheap! Just this simple act of looking into your current insurance could save you BIG BUCKS and help you afford IVF so don’t skip this!
8. Find a Clinical Research Trial
These are a little less common, but still possible. A clinical research trial is a trial in a certain topic or field (in our case…infertility) using humans. As a result of signing up for a clinical trial, you could potentially get a free (or deeply discounted) round of IVF for having a specific health issue that will qualify you for one of these research trials. You never know until you try!
Here is a list of websites to refer to when looking for a clinical research trial that fits your needs:
9. Get a Job with GREAT Fertility Coverage
You may or may not be aware of some big businesses that offer great fertility coverage.
Starbucks. Yes, you read that correctly. Starbucks has some fantastic fertility coverage. You can receive up to $15,000 of fertility coverage in a lifetime with select insurance plans through Starbucks. Of course, it’s not as easy as getting a job at Starbucks, and BAM! you have great coverage. I wish it worked like that. It’s going to take some time so if you are on the fast route to IVF, this may not be a good option for you. If you are hired as a part-time barista then it will take you about 5 months to become eligible for this benefit.
For example: If you were hired on December 15th, then you would need a total of 240 hours of work (20 hours a week) between the months of January-March. In April they would send you your enrollment package and in May, your coverage would begin. For more information on Starbucks fertility coverage, I suggest that you do a quick Facebook search for the group “Starbucks IVF Mommas”.
Other companies such as Bank of America, Chanel, Facebook, Pinterest, and News Corp also offer excellent fertility coverage. See the chart below courtesy of MSNBC Today. Although it’s old, it gives you a good idea of what’s out there.
10. Tap into your HSA
First of all, HSA stands for Health Savings Account. If your employer offers either of these, then you are in business. This is an account that you can contribute to (tax-free!!) and use for medical expenses that you might have. If you don’t use that money in a given year, it will roll over to the next year. Again, you will have to do your own research on this since these vary by company. According to HSAstore.com, an HSA can typically cover the following expenses:
- Fertility Doctor Bills
- Egg Retrieval
- Ultrasounds after transfer
- Pregnancy and Ovulation kits
- Other prescribed fertility enhancements
11. Shared Risk & Refund Programs
Some clinics offer programs that have built-in insurance policies in case your treatment was not a success. For example, a clinic may give you a set price for a round of IVF with a certain amount of transfers. They will quote you a price upfront (these are usually higher than normal and they don’t include the amount you pay for your medication), but they give you a guarantee that you’ll get pregnant or they will give you all (or a percentage) of your money back! Before agreeing to this, please make sure you do your research on your clinic success rates as well as how likely it is you will become pregnant through IVF with your specific diagnoses.
In conclusion, I hope these tips have lifted your spirit and given you the courage you need to keep going. YOU can do this. You can and will afford IVF. Please let me know if I can help in any way. My goal is to help other women (and men) see their greatest dream of having a child come true! Dreams DO come true.