Invitro fertilization, also known as IVF is a procedure that is used to implant an embryo in the uterus of a woman who either cannot or should not become impregnate via traditional methods. Many couples who face the risk of passing on genetic disorders or who experience fertility issues opt for this method to conceive and bear a child. If you’re considering this as an option, but have questions, the following information may answer your questions about costs, insurance coverage, what’s involved in the procedure and its effectiveness.
What is involved with the procedure?
Women are treated with hormone therapy to prevent premature ovulation, then injections of hormone (HCG) stimulate the ovarian follicles to produce mature eggs. The eggs are harvested between 34 to 36 hours after the injection. Retrieval is done through trans-vaginal ultrasonography that guides a needle and helps the technician to locate available eggs. They are extracted, then placed in culture media and kept in an incubator until the insemination process. A single spermatozoa is acquired with a glass microneedle, then directed into the cytoplasm of the egg, under a powerful microscope.
IVF specialists extract eggs which are mature and ready for fertilization from the female. They may either be used to complete the procedure at this time or frozen for later use. Those used immediately are referred to as the “fresh” cycle or harvest. Because it’s not a guarantee that the process will be effective the first time, many patients opt to have eggs frozen because it’s more economical than repeating the process for each attempt.
The egg is assessed for fertilization 18 hours after insemination and if successfully reaching the zygote stage it is allowed to rest and continue development with assessments son the second and third says. If growth and development are on target, the embryo or embryos are implanted on day 5, but in some cases, in day 3through a catheter placed inside the uterine cavity via the cervix. A further process called hatching is done to ensure that the implant breaks out of its membrane and attaches to the uterine wall. The process may need to be repeated several times. On average 40% of implantations take.
How much does IVF cost?
The average cost of IVF for a fresh cycle is $12,000. In the event that the first attempt doesn’t yield the desired results of a successful pregnancy, it may need to be repeated. If you’ve opted to go with frozen embryos for repeat attempts, each will cost additional charges between $3000 to $5,000. If you don’t freeze extra embryos, it will be another $12,000 for all future attempts. There are no guarantees with any attempt, although the medical specialists do all that is possible to ensure success.
Does insurance cover any of the cost?
In most cases, health insurance plans do not cover the cost of IVF. They may however pay for a portion of the diagnostic testing to determine infertility. Since each insurance provider has its own rules and offers a variety of differing coverage packages, it’s wise to work with your agent and review your plan to discover if any components are covered under the plan. Usually, only small portions, if any are covered by insurance benefits.
Work with the medical practitioner that you’re going through for the procedure to develop a payment plan. Most medical facilities either offer in-house financing or can recommend a third party provider to arrange for payment options that offer installment plans.
In some instances, you may qualify for certain tax credits for medical expenses. Save all of the financial and billing/payment information for your records. There is an exemption that allows for the deduction of medical expenses that go beyond ten percent of the annual adjusted gross income per tax year. Since IVF is a medical procedure, it qualifies under this classification and may be used if the cost exceeds the limits specified. Check with your tax professional to find out which, if any of the expenses for in-vitro fertilization qualify to help defray your annual tax bill. It’s always worth checking out as the tax laws are constantly changing.
These are the basics of IVF along with an overview of the procedure and the estimated costs. This is only a ballpark figure though. The actual cost will depend upon your unique situation, the rates assessed by the healthcare provider offering the services, the charges levied by the medical center in which it is performed, the costs involved with testing, treatment, and any repeated attempts.