By Contributor, Christina Merriweather
Sharon and Ray have been married for three years and have been trying to conceive for the past two. While they were dating they knew that they wanted children immediately and began planning their family soon after they tied the knot. But after six months of actively trying to get pregnant, Sharon knew that something was wrong. Shortly after they began seeing a specialist and discovered that Sharon had a health condition that made it difficult to conceive. Sharon and Ray are one of the millions of couples struggling with infertility.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, out of 100 couples in the United States, about 12 to 13 have trouble becoming pregnant.
Many of those couples will use some kind of assisted reproductive technology (ART) as part of their family planning process and while treatments are often effective, they’re extremely expensive. Here are just a few options that you should consider when it comes to paying for fertility treatments.
If you have health insurance, be sure to thoroughly explore your plan to see exactly what is covered. There are some plans that will cover all of the treatment, some may only partially cover the associated expenses. For example, a policy may say that it covers in-vitro fertilization (IVF), but not the accompanying injections that are required. So it’s important to clarify with your insurance company the covered expenses so you will be able to better assess all of your out-of-pocket costs.
Nowadays, it seems like everyone is launching a GoFundMe page for everything and anything from covering funeral expenses to funding expensive car repairs. While some couples may find it invasive to broadcast their fertility issues to the public, others have found success with raising substantial funds from their networks to fuel their family-planning dreams. Some things to consider though is that crowdfunding is only as effective as your social network. The wider your network and the deeper their pockets, the better. You also need to be sure that you tell your story in a way that is, of course, honest, and engaging.
Borrow the cash you need.
Another option that you can consider is taking out a personal or medical loan. Your loan terms and borrowing power are determined by your credit, but these are also viable options that you can use to supplement, if not fully cover the cost of fertility treatments. As with any loan, be sure to develop a plan to pay it back and only borrow what you can afford.
Grants and Scholarships
There are a number of foundations that award funding to couples seeking help with expenses associated with assisted reproduction such as IVF, IVI, egg and sperm donation, egg freezing, and surrogacy. This is a great option for couples or individuals who are uninsured and have limited finances. Keep in mind that although these are grants that don’t necessarily have to be paid back, there may be some strings attached when awarded funding such as publicly sharing your story, interviews or marketing materials. Also, application fees can be very expensive.
Regardless of which avenue you take to pursue your conception journey, know that there are many resources out there to help you every step of the way. Ultimately, you have to choose what works for you and your financial plan.
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