Financing Fertility Treatment Options: Infertility Insurance
Although the idea of getting pregnant may seem like a straightforward one, it can actually become quite complicated for couples experiencing fertility problems. Many consider infertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intra uterine insemination (IUI), as well as fertility drugs like Clomid, as a way to increase their odds. The problem is that these treatments are often associated with a high financial burden- particularly if additional cycles of the treatment are required.
The good news is that there are ways to significantly reduce this financial strain. In particular, infertility insurance is one means through which couples can help to finance their path towards pregnancy.
What is Infertility Insurance?
In a nutshell, infertility insurance is a type of coverage provided by insurance providers that is designed to help couples finance infertility treatments such as assisted reproductive technologies (ART). In exchange for a monthly premium, insurance providers will supply you with a certain amount of coverage for various infertility procedures.
Infertility insurance is becoming an increasingly popular method for couples looking to start a family. In fact, certain states and countries now require that insurance providers offer their customers infertility insurance.
What are the Benefits of Infertility Insurance?
Just as is the case of health, dental, and car insurance, having infertility insurance coverage is a great of way to ensure that you have the financial support you need to get you through the tough times. And with incidence of infertility increasing throughout North America, it can also be a very practical way to ensure that you are able to do whatever is necessary to help you become pregnant.
For many couples facing fertility problems, treatment is simply out of the question due to the financial costs. Fertility drugs, for example, can cost thousands of dollars each month, while most ART procedures will run at least $4,000- and more commonly, $10,000 or more- per cycle. As a result of these high costs, many couples face the prospect of bankruptcy. In such circumstances, infertility insurance is clearly a better alternative.
Types of Infertility Insurance
There are several types of infertility insurance options available, and depending upon your fertility history, one type of insurance may be better suited for you.
- Standard Health Insurance: With this type of insurance plan, you are required to pay a monthly premium to your regular health insurance provider. Your provider will inform you what kind of coverage your premium will entitle you to.
Refund Programs: These programs are offered by a number of private insurance providers as well as some infertility clinics. The disadvantage of this type of coverage is that you are required to pay for all treatments up front. The advantage is that if the treatment is unsuccessful, you could be entitled to between 7a 0 and 100 percent refund.
Financing: This type of infertility insurance entails taking out a loan to pay for the fertility treatment. Many programs do not require you to repay the loan in full unless you become pregnant.
What Does Infertility Insurance Cover?
When it comes to infertility insurance, not all plans are created equal. Certain plans cover different types of infertility treatments than others. To avoid disappointment, it's important to find out exactly what types of treatments will be covered, including all diagnostic tests, medications, and fertility treatments.
Unsurprisingly, most insurance plans cover only the least expensive treatment recommended for you (not necessarily the most effective). In addition, your insurance will normally only cover a certain number of treatment cycles (typically three to five). Some fertility treatments that are usually covered by fertility insurance include: IUI, IVF, ZIFT, and GIFT.
Furthermore, although most infertility insurance plans cover all diagnostic tests and procedures, there are usually certain medications- particularly injectables- that are not covered. Sperm donation and egg donation procedures are also typically not covered.
Who Qualifies for Infertility Insurance?
Unfortunately, not everyone will qualify for infertility insurance coverage. There are normally certain qualifications that must be met before you can be approved. For example, most couples need to be:
- under the age of 40
- experiencing difficulty getting pregnant for a certain period of time (between one and five years)
- policy holders for at least one year
Finally, couples who have already been diagnosed with infertility will typically be refused infertility insurance. In this case, financing or refund can be an effective alternative.