Financing Your Third Party Fertility Journey
The journey of infertility often begins with the who, what, why, when, and where: you build your fertility team, figure out what fertility treatment you will pursue, and make a plan for timing. Then comes the how. As in, “How do we begin, and how much will fertility treatments cost?”
Approximately 10 percent of U.S. women of childbearing age have used assisted reproductive technology. Here are some tips about fertility options for financing your fertility journey.
Below, we’ve laid out some of the most common third-party fertility financing options and financial avenues for intended parents.
The cost of sperm donation can range from under $1000 for at-home insemination to upwards of $50,000 if you require IUI or IVF with sperm donation - this is the cost for your clinic fees, medications, egg retrieval, embryo creation and transfer. Your fertility doctor is the best person to advise you on which treatment will be most effective.
How much does it cost to use a donor egg and/or a surrogate?
Many intended parents with diminished ovarian reserve use egg donors to conceive. Whether you find a family member who is willing to donate her eggs, or go through an egg donor agency, there are many parties involved.
Egg donation usually requires intended parents to finance the donor costs, lawyer fee, clinic costs, psychological and medical evaluations, insurance plans, and more, which can cost from $20,000 to $40,000+. Donor Concierge provide intended parents with streamlined support navigating the complexities of this process and can in the end save money by ensuring that intended parents choose an egg donor who is likely to provide optimal results.
Surrogacy can often go hand in hand with egg donation, and is also a complex process, involving many moving parts. Common costs associated with surrogacy include:
- Agency fees of $20,000 to $30,000 to match parents with a surrogate
- The surrogate's compensation, which can range from $35,000 to $60,000 depending on experience and location.
- life and medical insurance for the surrogate can range from $5000 to $30,000
- the IVF transfer to the surrogate which ranges from $7,000 to $9,000 per cycle
- The medications at $600 to $3,000 depending on insurance
- lawyers and escrow fees from $15,000
- smaller needs of the surrogate like a clothing allowance and parking fees for doctor's visits.
Estimates for the entire surrogacy process range from $100,000 to $200,000.
HERE ARE SOME FINANCING OPTIONS:
HEALTH INSURANCE and Company Benefits:
To finance fertility treatments, first check your insurance coverage in your state.
California and Texas have laws that require insurance companies to offer coverage for infertility treatment. The remaining fourteen require insurance companies to cover infertility treatment.
Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, and West Virginia have laws around infertility diagnosis and treatment coverage.
Many larger companies are now offering generous fertility benefits through companies like Carrot Fertility, hoping to attract people who understand the value of preserving their fertility. Always check with your HR department and see what fertility benefits are offered.
Resolve, the National Infertility advocacy organization, has information available to help you ask for fertility benefits and insurance coverage.
FERTILITY FINANCING LOANS:
Organizations offering these loans include Sunfish Prosper Healthcare Lending),New Life Fertility Finance), and CapexMD. Many of these plans depend on estimated costs provided by doctors or agencies, and offer access to loans up to $100,000. EggFund and EmBorrow are additional state-specific fertility loan resources.
Fertility loans can be a good option, but some of these loans can have high interest rates, so make sure you know what you're accepting before moving forward. And if you’re having difficulty navigating the financials of your fertility journey, companies like Seed Coach, offered through surrogacy agencies can help you make a plan.
With awareness of surrogacy and egg donation growing, more options are becoming available to intended parents. Aside from insurance coverage and fertility loans, fertility and surrogacy grants are becoming an increasingly common option. The Tinina Q. Cade Foundation, Baby Quest Foundation, Pay it Forward Fertility, Family Formation Charitable Trust, Journey to Parenthood Grant, Parental Hope, and Life Grants are foundations that offer grants to intended parents who are unable to cover costs of IVF or surrogacy. Many grants typically cover up to $10,000.
Many intended parents save money by using less conventional avenues, from finding egg donors or surrogates through personal connections, fundraising, or comparing costs of medications in other countries. One mother even set up her company as a C-Corporation, so she could run all surrogacy-related expenses through the business, deductible as employee benefit expenses. While the DIY approach may seem like a cheaper alternative, remember that you get what you pay for - experts in the field, like agencies and reproductive attorneys can help you save money by not making common mistakes. Tread very carefully if you try to do this on your own.
While there are options for parents struggling with infertility, the best way to ultimately save money across the board is to reach out to experts, ask questions, and research. Every family is different and every intended parent’s situation is unique -- some may save money by opting to “DIY” aspects of their journey, while others may save money by finding an agency or organization that can do the work more quickly. Additionally, there are some grants and foundations specifically catered to certain regions, religious groups, and communities.
The key is to communicate with doctors, professionals, and your own support system, so that you can begin this process with as much information about your needs as possible. Luckily, there is a great community of other parents and experts who are eager to offer advice and resources as you start your journey.
And above all, know that you aren’t alone in this process. Many out there are facing the same struggles, and parents, legislators, doctors and experts across the country and world are advocating for more fertility support and access.