How do people afford IVF?

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Last updated:
02/28/2022

Many couples cannot have a child due to infertility or other birth impediments, and one option they turn to is In Vitro Fertilization (IVF).

What does IVF actually involve?

IVF involves:
Extracting eggs from the woman’s ovaries.
Fertilizing them with sperm outside the woman’s body.
Implanting it in the uterus.

What is the average cost of an IVF cycle?

It is one of the most effective ways for those who can’t conceive of having a child, but the cost can be astronomical.
The average cost of IVF treatment with drug coverage in the United States is approximately $12,400 per cycle. According to a survey conducted by FertilityIQ in 2015, the average cost for each country ranges from $4,200 to $36,100 for one IVF cycle. In countries with universal healthcare like Canada, fertility services are covered; however, this is not always true in every state in the US.
Some insurance companies cover IVF treatment in some cases; however, it can be common for prospective parents to use credit cards or take out equity loans on a home to pay for it if they do not provide enough coverage.

Which state has the best infertility coverage?

In the United States, each state has different laws regarding health insurance coverage for fertility treatments, so what is covered in one state might not be covered in another.
The states with the best health insurance coverage for infertility treatment are California, Massachusetts, and New Jersey. California requires that individual plans provide a minimum of six cycles of IVF to women who are 40 or younger and have been diagnosed with infertility. In Massachusetts, private insurers must cover the same number of IVF cycles as those required by California; however, MassHealth allows more coverage than the state law. Infertility treatment is also fully covered in New Jersey by individual plans through infertility diagnosis and treatment contracts that cover a maximum lifetime benefit.

How much does IVF cost in America?

Depending on where you live, it may be covered by insurance, but even if you don’t have health insurance, IVF can be very expensive. Currently, the average cost of an IVF cycle is $12,000. This price may include costs for egg retrieval and other procedures, but often it is less: one study found that the average cost was $8,000 (without insurance).
IVF can be expensive anywhere in the US. However, some states are much more costly than others. In fact, there are two categories of states: expensive IVF states and inexpensive IVF states. IVF is more expensive in some places than others, and it has a lot to do with the laws in that state. Some states require insurance companies to cover the total cost of IVF. Other states don’t require insurance companies to cover it at all. Another factor that can affect the price is whether or not there are many fertility specialists in your area. If so, then competition typically brings down prices of medical services like IVF. If you live in a state where fertility specialists aren’t as common, you’ll have fewer options for treatment which means you have to pay more for these services.

IVF Cost, How do people afford IVF?

So where do you want to live if you want to have a baby?

If you don’t have health insurance, it’s best to live in a state that has a mandate requiring insurers to cover at least some IVF services. For example, Massachusetts mandates coverage of all IVF services, while New Jersey allows coverage of only the egg retrieval portion. However, the cost is the same either way since both require insurance companies to cover some of the costs. If you have health insurance, it’s best to live in a state with many fertility specialists to drive down prices.
It also helps states to have laws preventing discrimination based on infertility or other reproductive issues. For example, Wisconsin has a law that prevents insurance companies from denying coverage for infertility treatments. In contrast, there are no such laws in Texas, and insurance companies can deny coverage if they find out the infertility is due to you being a transgender individual.
It’s important to note that these results apply only to health insurance individuals. If you don’t have health insurance, it doesn’t matter what state you live in since you’re unlikely to afford IVF or any other medical procedure.

With health care costs rising, many states seek ways to provide more affordable options for their citizens, and as more states pass laws addressing this issue, we may very well see trends toward lower prices across the country.