Counting the Cost: Financing Infertility Treatment

by | August 24th, 2011

Trying to get pregnant and dealing with infertility will likely take a toll on you and your partner. The numerous tests, constant waiting, and disappointing cycles can create emotional concerns that you will need to address, but many couples don’t adequately consider the financial impact of infertility. Understanding the costs and formulating a detailed plan will relieve some of your worries so that you can focus your efforts on starting a family.

Know the law

With the number of people experiencing infertility on the rise, lawmakers have started considering national and state legislation to help couples who are struggling to conceive. Recently, Senator Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY) introduced legislation to provide eligible taxpayers with a tax credit for 50 percent of qualified infertility treatment expenses incurred during the taxable year.

Check out your company policy

Research what your employer covers and maximize those benefits. In a world where companies are tightening their belts, you may find little to no financial support, but it doesn’t hurt to fully investigate the situation.

Use available resources

If you or your spouse has a medical savings account or health slush fund, take advantage of these plans, which allow you to place pre-tax dollars into a savings account. Because the IRS recognizes infertility as a medical condition, you can reimburse yourself with tax-free dollars for out-of-pocket infertility expenses. As well, the IRS allows filers to deduct for medical expenses that exceed 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income, so have a tax expert review your outflow at the end of the year.

Fight for coverage

RESOLVE, the national infertility organization, has lobbied Congress to require insurance coverage for infertility treatment (up to four IVF attempts) by any group health plan that also offers OB benefits. Write or call your Congressperson and urge your representative to support this bill.

Explore all options

Most of the time, patients will need to borrow some money for infertility treatment. Many couples consider 401K loans, home equity loans, or secured loans from family members. During this conversation, establish a limit you can both live with so that you will be on the same page about the process of trying to have a baby.

Don’t take the easy route

Though you may want to cut corners wherever possible, avoid Web sites that sell fertility medication or supplies. You can’t verify that these products are the right medicine, still within a safe date, and from a reputable source. Ask your fertility doctor about programs through drug manufacturers that can reduce your costs.

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