As if going through an IVF cycle isn’t daunting enough, couples are often overwhelmed by the price tag associated with a procedure that isn’t guaranteed. This is why many insurance companies are hesitant to cover IVF.
Imagine going to a surgeon to have your appendix taken out and the surgeon says, “Well, there’s a 50% chance that I won’t be able successfully remove your appendix.”
When a patient goes through IVF treatment, depending on the fertility challenge, the success rate may be as high as 80% or as low as 5%. There are no guarantees. That’s what makes paying for IVF so frustrating.
The sound of having a sort of cash back guarantee is very enticing but this what you should know:
1. If you’re young and have a good fertility prognosis, you should get pregnant in your first or second fresh IVF cycle. So paying up front for several cycles for a “money back guarantee” only benefits the clinic.
2. Read the fine print when it comes to what you need to do to get your money back. Many patients going through IVF the first time don’t realize what having frozen embryos really means. Most refund programs require that you have to use all of your frozen embryos if your fresh cycle is not successful. That means more fees to the clinic. And the money back guarantee is usually only a percentage of your money back if you don’t get pregnant. If you look at the percentage that you get back, you actually end up paying more in the end than you would have if you paid as you went.
3. Many programs that offer refunds have higher cycle fees than other programs so by the time you have gone through a cycle whether you get pregnant or not, you end up paying 4-5K more.
4. Watch out for refund programs that keep a percentage regardless of the outcome. For example, imagine paying 30,000 for 3 cycles for the money back guarantee. You get pregnant the first cycle and they keep two thousand dollars for signing up for the program. You have a successful pregnancy – that’s something to celebrate. But you actually spent a lot more than you needed to.
5. Psychologically, some patients do much better knowing that they get their money back. If this is you – sign up for one. But if you’re part of a clinic that doesn’t offer a refund program – ask them if they will create a certain package just for you so you can feel better moving forward.
Hope this helps and as always, consumer beware.