Since most health insurance plans do not cover In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), the cost, averaging over $13,000, can be daunting. Paying for it may take creativity and planning. Consider the following five options:
IVF Scholarships: There are non-profit organizations, such as the INCIID, which provide scholarships to people seeking IVF treatment. Eligibility requirements vary. Some scholarships provide for treatments through donated services, covering the majority, but not all, of the costs. Others are straight grants, which, again, may cover most of the costs, but not all.
Loans: Some IVF providers offer financing. However, before going the loan route, keep in mind that your expenses are going to increase after you’ve have the baby. A loan that looks doable now may be much harder to bear a year down the road. Before you jump into a loan, do some planning with a financial advisor.
Take an IVF vacation: More Americans are going abroad for medical treatment, and “destination” IVF vacations are gaining in popularity. According to a 2010 study by the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology, the costs of IVF in the U.S. are significantly more expensive than in other countries (for example, the average price of IVF treatment in Japan was $4,012, and in Belgium – only $3,109). Even factoring in the costs of hotels and airfare, going abroad for IVF can cost significantly less than in the U.S.; and, it’s probably more fun.
Reduce the pain with a tax deduction: Fertility enhancements are a deductible medical expense, but whether or not it will be deductible for you depends upon your income level. As in all things, talk to your tax preparer first.
Use your HSA/FSA: If your employer offers an HSA or FSA savings program, you can use these to help pay for IVF. HSA’s and FSA’s both allow you to use pre-tax dollars for medical expenses. Note that in some states (e.g. California) you will not receive any tax advantages at the state income tax level from using an HSA.
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