April 5, 2012

Buyer Beware! A Patient’s Guide to Asking the Right Questions When Paying for Fertility Treatment

For many in the United States, advanced treatments for infertility (for example, In-Vitro Fertilization, or IVF) is not covered by their health insurance.  This means that those needing advanced treatment have to pay for the related expenses “out of pocket” if they want to build their family.  The cost of treatment can range from $10,000-20,000 (USD) and is often the primary barrier to accessing quality care.   Many fertility centers develop “cost saving programs” to “help” patients with access to care, however, these programs can be misleading.  For example, some IVF centers advertise introductory pricing for an IVF treatment cycle.  The listed cost of treatment may be attractive at first glance.  However, successful treatment of infertility requires a series of procedures that make up an IVF cycle.  These procedures have their own associated price and can add dollars to the total cost of treatment.  Therefore, it is important that patients ask questions about total cost.  When considering a fertility center based on cost of treatment, questions to ask should include:

  • “Is the cost of anesthesia included?”
  • “Are procedures such as intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) included in the price?”
  • “Does the price include all hormone testing and monitoring, including pregnancy testing after embryo transfer?”

If the answer to these questions is “no”, then chances are the total cost of treatment will exceed the advertised price.

At the Fertility Centers of New England, we make the process of comparing cost of treatment patient friendly.  Our IVF Assist program is $6,800 per cycle and includes cycle monitoring, egg retrieval and anesthesia, insemination with ICSI, embryo culture and transfer, and finally pregnancy testing after embryo transfer.  To make it even easier and completely transparent, we list our price for IVF on our website.  Moreover, we realize that some patients require more than one or two cycles to achieve a successful pregnancy.  In order to help more patients afford treatment, we cover the cost of treatment for the 3rd cycle (for those patients not pregnant after two cycles).  Although medications are always an additional cost, our physicians provide realistic estimates on what your out of pocket expense will be for fertility medications.  Our team is always available to discuss your fertility treatment options and if you don’t have insurance coverage, your initial consult is free of charge.  The Fertility Centers of New England is where care centers on you. Contact us today!

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Brian E.

Brian E. Miller, Ph.D.