Financial Help for Couples Who Can't Afford IVF

By Erica Loop
Pregnant woman speaking with doctor.
Pregnant woman speaking with doctor.

You want to start a family, bur infertility issues are getting in the way. In vitro fertilization – or IVF – is an assisted reproductive technology procedure that can help you to conceive. From harvesting your eggs to creating and implanting an embryo, IVF involves costs that often aren’t covered by private insurance companies. That said, you don’t have to foot the bill alone. Financial help in the form of loans and grants provides options for your fertility treatment that may cover your costs.

IVF Costs

The specific amount that you pay for an IVF procedure may vary depending on where you live and what the medical center, clinic or hospital charges. The costs don't only include the actual IVF procedure itself. Additional costs, such as fertility medications that you take prior to egg retrieval, may increase the price. Another extra charge you may have to budget for is a donor egg or donor sperm. In the event that your eggs aren't viable, you don't have a male partner or your male partner's sperm is low in number or not motile, you need a donor to complete the IVF process.

Insurance Coverage

Even though you feel that IVF is a necessity for you and your family, your insurance company may not agree. In most cases, insurance does not cover or only partially covers the cost of infertility treatments. There are some states that require insurance providers to cover infertility services. Under the federal Affordable Care Act Illinois, Connecticut, Hawaii, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Rhode Island all have IVF mandates. For example, Illinois requires all insurance providers to include coverage for IVF and the medical costs of using donor eggs or sperm.

Private Financing

Some fertility clinics offer private financing programs. These programs don’t pay for your costs. Instead they help you to finance fertility treatments in the same way that you would take out a student or car loan. They also often offer discounted fees for IVF-related services and guarantees. Depending on the program you choose, you may have the option of a full refund. This means that if IVF doesn’t successfully give you a baby, you can get your money back. The specific coverage, terms, discounts and costs involved vary by program.

State Subsidies

Covering the costs of IVF doesn’t always equal taking out loans. Some states offer subsidy programs. For example, New York State’s Infertility Demonstration Program helps to subsidize high-cost treatments such as IVF. New York’s program is not an across-the-board program that includes all providers. Only providers who have agreed to participate in the program offer the use of subsidies. This type of program is not available in all states.

Grants for IVF

It’s possible you are eligible for grants to pay for your IVF. For example, the Tinina Q. Cade Foundation Family Building Grant provides financial help to families who can’t afford to pay for IVF. This grant funds up to $10,000 of the costs for IVF. You must apply for the grant and have a doctor’s diagnosis of infertility. The Cade Foundation also has special Savannah Grants for patients who use a particular fertility center.

Other organizations offering grants for IVF include the International Council on Infertility Dissemination Scholarship program, Pay it Forward Fertility Foundation and the Baby Quest Foundation. These are private grants, and all have their own rules and restrictions for application.

About the Author

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.