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Future of Fertility

Financial Planners Share Tips on Financing Fertility Treatments

Infertility is emotionally difficult for couples and individuals who want to become parents. An estimated 15 percent of couples will have trouble conceiving, and infertility affects both men and women. Many couples turn to medical treatments such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) to help them along, but these treatments aren’t cheap. Finances can be a huge barrier to having a child, so how can a couple plan ahead for their future?

Michael Metzger, a professional financial planner at Lifepoint Financial Design, said that fertility treatment is something “near and dear” to his heart, as he and his wife have been struggling to get pregnant for years. 

“As a financial planner,” Metzger said, “I knew the costs were high, but I never considered the staggering added costs as the years pass.” 

According to Metzger, there are a few things to focus on when planning for fertility expenses. One is to maximize contributions to your Health Savings Plan (HSA). 

“If you have a high deductible health plan, you should be contributing to an HSA for unforeseen medical expenses on a tax-efficient basis,” said Metzger. “Fertility treatments like IVF as well as egg and sperm storage are considered qualified medical expenses.” 

He also recommends researching payment programs, which many clinics offer with “little or no interest added to the total cost,” as well as refund programs. 

“With refund programs, you can receive portions of your initial pre-set costs back if you are not pregnant by the third or fourth IVF treatment cycle,” Metzger said. Other tips he shares are applying for a zero-interest credit card as a back-up option, as well as crowdfunding. 

Jennifer Grant, a financial advisor and investment manager at Perryman Financial, is also personally familiar with fertility expenses, as she had to undergo fertility treatments for all of her pregnancies. She acknowledges that overcoming infertility is a huge financial goal. 

“Know ahead of time what your insurance will and will not cover,” Grant advised. “If changing coverage during open enrollment is an option, you want to know in advance.”

She also urges couples to research how much treatment will realistically cost ahead of time. “Doctors’ offices have different pricing structures, so shop around,” Grant said. “Having a good doctor is important. Having a good doctor with a great staff who understands how to handle insurance is more important.”

Having a clear budget before embarking on fertility treatment is imperative. There’s a huge emotional toll to failed treatments, so defining what you and your partner can take on financially can help you make clear-headed decisions. 

“When you are disappointed [from a failed treatment] and on extra hormones, it is not the time to decide if you should do one more round of treatments,” Grant said. 

A healthy pregnancy may feel like an uphill battle for many. The financial expense of fertility treatment doesn’t help, but with keeping these financial tips in mind can help ease the way. 

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