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Insurance Coverage for IVF & Fertility Drugs

Learn if insurance covers in vitro fertilization procedures and find out how much fertility drugs cost in this Howcast video about infertility.


Fertility treatments can be very expensive, and they're not always covered by a person's insurance company. Some insurance companies do, in fact, include fertility treatment and fertility medications and the full diagnostic evaluation in their coverage plan. Some do not. And sometimes, it has nothing to do with the insurance company, but specifically, what the person's employer has arranged with the insurance company. It is very important that you get this information before you see a fertility specialist.

There are specialists who take no insurance or take only a limited number of plans. There are also specialists who take multiple plans. The quality of these specialists is generally the same. Some insurance plans will not cover fertility for women who have undergone a tubal ligation and want to have that tubal ligation reversed or have the in vitro fertilization. Some insurance plans have certain limitations, specifically age limitations, on the types of treatments that are available. Other insurance plans will give a certain lifetime dollar amount and don't ask specifically what type of treatments are being done but will not cover above a certain dollar amount.

It's very important to speak with your Human Resources department and with the fertility center and particularly with the insurance company to determine what kind of coverage you have. One of the most important things to cover are fertility medications. Fertility medications are inordinately expensive. They can range from $75 a vial to even higher, at times. Some women require five or six thousand dollars worth of medication in one cycle of in vitro fertilization in order to stimulate the ovaries. Those are the women who require a lot of vials due to age factors. Young women require less medications in general, so it could be a lot easier to handle financially in these cases. Again, you must speak with your insurance provider about the coverage that you have for fertility medications.

Many centers also have fertility medications that they can give you free of charge. They get these medications from patients who have conceived successfully and have leftover medications that are in closed vials that could be given to patients. In cases in which there is no insurance coverage for in vitro fertilization, it is important to speak to your center about the cost involved for the whole procedure. In general, in vitro fertilization costs vary by geographic location. In some centers, also, special rates or special packages are given to try to control the costs of fertility care. In general, in vitro fertilization will typically cost anywhere from six to twelve thousand dollars depending on the case and procedures that are required. Specifically, in some cases, sperm needs to be injected microscopically into the eggs, and that requires a certain fee. In other cases, embryos are manipulated, and that engenders a certain fee. Again, all the fees have to be determined ahead of time, and fertility centers should give you all the fees in writing prior to the start of the procedure.

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