A Guide for Navigating the Costs of Fertility Treatment

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A Guide for Navigating the Costs of Fertility Treatment

There’s a lot to think about when a couple commits to undergoing fertility treatment. There are all of the medical procedures to schedule, and the emotional issues to balance, which often leaves those undergoing treatment exhausted and mentally drained when it comes to figuring out how to pay for all of it.

This is why we wanted to share an overview of things you can do to make the process easier.

Patients with Insurance

1) First, if you have insurance, find out what your insurance covers. The best way to do this is to call the company that you have a policy with. There are currently so many insurance options that it’s best to go right to the source and verify your benefit. This will eliminate a lot of frustration down the road.

2) If you get insurance through an employer, ask them if any of the plans they offer cover fertility treatment. Infertility treatment is currently not mandated in Michigan, but some employers do offer plans with fertility coverage. Find out what plans do and consider switching plans during open enrollment for your next fertility cycle.

3) Don’t get too discouraged if your current plan doesn’t offer fertility treatment. Some plans will still cover office visits, initial diagnosis, blood work, ultrasounds, and prescriptions. Once again, it’s important to know what your plan covers, and what it does not.

RaeAnne Schwesinger, billing manager at the Michigan Center for Fertility & Women’s Health (MCFWH) explains, “Patients need to be their own advocate. If our practice participates with a patient’s insurance, we will verify benefits and coverage, however, it is up to the patient to ensure they get the right information from their employer or insurance company.” She explains that there are so many different plans out there that there is no rule of thumb. It’s important that patients know their benefits up front.

All of this effort will eliminate surprises later. Patients need to understand that even with insurance that covers fertility treatment, there are deductibles that need to be met, co-pays are required, some insurers require you work with a provider in network, along with many other items.

And then there are fertility expenses covered by the insurance company, and others that are not. It all depends on your coverage.

Patients Without Insurance

If you don’t have insurance, there are still options available.

  1. One option for cash pay patients is to apply for a loan with their bank, credit union, or with a low-interest financial institution like LendingClub or Future Family. However, it’s important that you are clear up front what the loan is for. Some financial organizations won’t cover fertility or medical costs, but many will.
  2. Many fertility practices will offer payment plans for cash paying customers. Every practice has different criteria so it’s important to be open with them and discuss options that will work for both of you.
  3. Some drug companies, like Ferring or EMD Serono, offer those who qualify assistance with fertility medications. Reach out to them for more information.
  4. And many practices like the Michigan Center for Fertility & Women’s Health offer military and first responder discounts.