Saturday, July 10, 2010

How did you pay for it?

I realize money is something of a taboo subject, but I figured hey!  I am already writing an entire blog about another taboo subject--infertility--so why not go there, too?

I am directing this question to those of you reading who have done IVF, either with your own eggs or with donor eggs, and had to pay out of pocket, rather than having insurance coverage for IVF.  Our insurance will pay nothing toward IVF, either with my own eggs or with donor eggs.

I am prompted to ask my question by a discussion MM and I had recently about the logistics and practicalities of donor egg IVF.  (No, we haven't come to a final decision about what we will do yet.)  We are both the type of people who like to look at the "worst case scenario" when planning, so we talked specifically about the price tag for donor egg IVF at CCRM.  Their website indicates that the cost is approximately $29,000-33,000 (not including the donor's meds, my work-up, or ICSI, which we likely would not need).

Of course, there are clinics which charge less for a DE IVF cycle, but in many cases, the lower cost also comes with lower success rates.  Plus, Colorado is relatively close to where we live, as opposed to some other possible options.  And no matter where we went, we would be looking at a price tag in excess of $10K.

 
So if you don't mind sharing, how did you pay for your IVF?  Did you already have the needed amount in savings?  Did you save for the cycle once you found out IVF would be necessary for you?  (If so, how?  Second/different job?  Extra shifts?  Drastic lifestyle changes?)  Did you get the money from a friend or family member?  Did you borrow some, or all, of the money?

If you don't feel comfortable leaving this information in the comments but wouldn't mind telling just me, feel free to email me at sangela71 at yahoo dot com.

Thanks in advance to all who reply.

17 comments:

  1. That's a good question, I will begin IVF in November and I'm not looking forward to writing that $10K check.... hope that you have some responses so that I can see how others did it.

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  2. We used savings and our line of credit.

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  3. For the IVF part of our TTC, we paid close on £6000, all from our savings accounts. In all, though, including past IUIs and abandoned cycles I think we spent about twice that - again all from savings. I'm pretty well wiped out financially now.

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  4. We obviously haven't done IVF yet--we plan on doing it around February 2011. We are saving half and taking out the other half in student loans since I am back in school for my master's. It's not exactly "legal," but the interest rate is lower than taking out a regular medical loan for the other half.

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  5. We have done two IVF with ICSI cycles in five months, both out of pocket. The first we paid for with a yearly bonus and the second we used a loan. We're paying this off now. Our RE told us we really did not have time to stop for a year and wait on another bonus, so we went the debt route. But, #2 worked! So, we'll pay it off with a smile because it was SO worth it.

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  6. We could not have done IVF without financial help from family. I think we were reluctant to take out a loan. We were lucky to have a family member who was willing to pay for a shared risk program at our clinic, which amounted to around $30,000. A very generous family member!

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  7. We'd sold our house in the UK and moved back to the US. Otherwise we would have borrowed money from my mother. We're hoping for a miracle for FET 2010.

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  8. We took out a healthcare loan with a stupid interest rate to pay for our Shared Risk program. It's the size of a car loan and it sucked paying it every month after our failures, but now after success on our last attempt, I am ok with it. We also ended up putting some meds on credit cards, again with stupid rates, but we are doing a good job paying those off. Good luck.

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  9. I'm an IVF vet (2 fresh cycles, 5 transfers) who's fortunate to now be on the other side. We chose a shared risk program that cost us $25k, which gave us 3 fresh cycles, all associated FETs, included meds and monitoring, and if we didn't bring home a baby we'd get 100% back. Given how many cycles we did (and the amount of meds I required) this turned out to be a good deal for us. We financed the shared-risk plan by taking out an equity loan on our house and FLEXed the expenses. If you have equity in your home, this is a good way to go particularly with the low interest rates right now. Best wishes to you!

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  10. I'm glad you asked this question, because I'll be paying out of pocket as well and was wondering how everyone else does it. I still don't know how we'll do it, but it will probably involve our retirement accounts and borrowing from family.

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  11. We also did the shared risk program at $30K, and were very fortunate that my parents gave us the money. (We had paid for our first IVF, which was mostly covered by insurance but still involved about $2500 out of pocket.) I ended up getting pregnant on the first shared risk cycle, but I don't regret doing that program; it gave me a lot of peace of mind to know that we had a few shots at it.

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  12. As soon as we started TTC 4 years ago, I started a savings account at ING, ostensibly for a doula, for baby things, to cover the money I wouldn't earn during maternity leave.

    When we got married my husband had a (large) bit of credit card debt. I'd worked really hard to pay all that off and pre-IVF, our cards were all at a zero balance. For my first IVF in June, I used one of those cash-advance credit card check things with a 3.99% interest rate for 6 months and I'll pay it off by January. That was about half the IVF. I used the ING savings for all of my meds. And now one credit card has a balance of 3K, but I will pay that off ASAP. It helps that our clinic only cost 6K for the IVF; I needed big doses of meds, so instead of it costing the $2500 the clinic predicted, it was closer to 6K.
    My doctor suggested we ask our parents to help pay for their grandchildren, but since my in-laws have no idea that we're even trying to have a baby, we didn't think we could ask them to dinner and then ask for money.
    I hope this helps. My husband is a little worried about our new credit card debt but (a) it's only money, (b) we will pay it off soon and (c) it's our future, our children. It's worth it.

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  13. I can't tell you what we have done, because we haven't done it yet - but I can tell you that we've drastically cut back on our spending in order to be able to pay for a 3-cycle plan. I'm also going to take advantage of a health savings account that was for my retirement, and a 125 (pretax HSA)that we can withdraw money from and then contribute to afterward.

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  14. 1.5 of our 2 IVFs (+1 FET) were mostly covered by insurance. The last half an IVF was OOP. We maxed out our flexible spending account ($5K), which is tax free.

    If we decide to do a third IVF, my in-laws will help us. Thank g-d!

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  15. From LFCA - Our IVF cycle was totally unexpected. I got pregnant (1st time) at 29 in Aug 08 (we started trying in April 08 too). Oct 08 was misdiagnosed as miscarriage, but was ectopic. Long story short one of my tubes was shot from previous surgery scarring and other tube was ectopic. In Dec 08 I ended up having both fallopian tubes removed due to infection. Insurance covered nothing. 1st IVF was March 09 and cost about $12,000 with meds. My parents paid for the majority of it with us probably paying about $3000-$4000 which we put on credit cards. That was a big bust so IVF #2 was offered to us at a discount of around $6000. Again we got money from my parents and in-laws. We also kicked in some of our own from savings (which was drained at this point). After IVF #2 blew up (all eggs ovulated early) we got all of our money back from the clinic. Fast forward a year and we are doing domestic adoption which we thought was going to cost $30-50k. Once again my parents have footed a significant chunk of the bill, my in-laws some, my grandma some, and our tax return some. Our adoption just failed so we are waiting for our money back from the agency and waiting again to be matched. The only thing I can say is investigate home equity loans (if possible) or ask your family if you can. Also everything is tax deductible and a certain percentage of your income. We had $22,000 in med expenses in 2009 and that's why we got about a $8000 tax return this year. Good luck.

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  16. Great Question, I've wondered myself how others are doing it. Our insurance covers nothing for Infertility - not even the diagnostic testing, which cost us the 8k out of pocket that we had saved for my would-be maternity leave.

    A small part of the reason we chose to use Donor Sperm was because it was much more financially attainable than IVF, and much quicker than saving for IVF (talk about you're all time backfire's). But with six of them done, and still no baby, I managed to rack up a 5k in debt.

    Now that we're planning for IVF next year, we're saving every red cent we can towards it- Whilst paying off the other debt. We cut back the cable service, cancelled nextflix, no vacations, and we have friends over for dinner instead of going out... Stuff like that. So the plan is to use whatever he have saved by January, and put the rest on my credit card. We may also look at asking family for help.

    Right now, we're stuck between the shared risk plan or the two cycle plan. The shared risk is for 17k +, Which includes one fresh cycle, and as many FET's as possible. If that doesn't work we get 90% back. Or we could pay for two cycles upfront, for 15k+... Oy Vey.

    When it comes down to it, we're not going to let money hold us back from a family - we can always make more. (Money that is)

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  17. I am too old for the share risk program, but I would have gone for it. There is just too damn much risk to shoulder it alone.

    We got a loan from the Large Fertility Operation we use in Chgo. Decent rate and easier to get approved.

    Consider avoiding credit cards. I screwed up my planning and put it ($10k) on my card and had to hustle to transfer it to the loan. They were surprisingly accommodating for my crappy planning.

    Best wishes.

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