Couples who are challenged with fertility find themselves unprepared not only for the emotional impact, but also for the financial obligations that come with covering a daunting in vitro fertilization cost. Before you panic, we have a few steps you can take to get ready.
1. Call Your Insurer
The very first step you should take, perhaps even before you make an appointment with a fertility specialist, is to call to your insurance company and ask a lot of questions. What treatments are covered in the in vitro fertilization cost? Are there requirements that must be completed before that treatment is covered (for example, some policies require six months of insemination attempts before they cover IVF)? Is there a lifetime cap to how much it will cover? Some polices covering only specific physicians. Understand that information before your first visit with your doctor so you can put together the best treatment plan.
2. Check Your Rx Coverage
Another aspect of care that you’ll want to investigate is your medication coverage. Your insurance company is a good place to start, though it might refer you to the administrator of your pharmacy benefits. Are infertility medications – along with the in vitro fertilization cost – covered by your policy? Do you need to use a certain brand of medications? Is there a specific pharmacy that you must use? Are there procedures that you or the staff must follow in order to obtain coverage (like getting authorization before filling a prescription)? Is there a lifetime cap on your pharmacy benefits?
3. Negotiate Pricing for the In Vitro Fertilization Cost
Once you meet with the doctor, the office should have a billing specialist on staff to help you make sense of your policy and even negotiate pricing for the in vitro fertilization cost. Keep detailed notes because it can get kind of confusing. Discuss with your significant other a budget and what you can and can’t afford. This is an especially important conversation to have now, before you have to deal with negative pregnancy tests or failed cycles, when it’s much more difficult to think about giving up or not pursuing the next step. If you find that you can’t afford an in vitro fertilization cost, ask if the clinic is willing to negotiate its price a little. If not, or you can’t afford the cycle, ask about other possibilities.
4. Consider Financing
For come couples, medical financing for the in vitro fertilization cost might be an option. If you are comfortable using debt to finance infertility treatments, ask your doctor if he or she offers financing programs or has information about medical loans that you might be eligible for. Do your research, ask a lot of questions and fully understand the terms of your loan or financing program. Your doctor’s billing specialist should be able to steer you toward a reputable program, or at least inform you of questionable ones.
Nicole Galan is a mom, published author and registered nurse who has worked in private practice specializing in infertility issues.