Covering the Cost of Donor Eggs

Published: 04th January 2012
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People who choose to use egg donors have usually exhausted all other fertility treatment options and have had failed attempts at in vitro fertilization. Although assisted reproductive technology (ART) carries the highest success rates, it can also be the most costly. And since you have probably reached this point after going through other fertility treatment methods, your cash flow may be tapped out. Just like any financial decision, it’s important to weigh the costs and have a plan of how you will pay for the egg donation process.

On average, the cost of donor eggs in the United States is between $15,000 and $30,000. Using fresh eggs is most expensive, especially as you will also have to cover the cost of the hormone treatments, travel expenses for the donor and medical error if there were any. If you choose to use frozen eggs, the process is less expensive since these factors are eliminated. However, when using fresh donor eggs, the chance of conceiving is greatest, nearly 50 percent. With frozen donor eggs, the chance of conceiving is lowered to 30 percent, which means you may have to repeat the procedure.

Unfortunately, most insurance providers do not cover the cost of fertility treatments, and if they do, these treatments are very limited. Generally speaking, insurance carriers do not cover assisted reproductive technology procedures, but it’s important to discuss exactly what your policy entails. For example, some policies may cover the cost of fertility drugs, which can help when you and the donor need to take hormonal medications. Not only will you need to reach out to your insurance provider, but also the clinic you choose. Clinics differ in their price structures and what types of treatments are included.

Roughly $5,000 to $15,000 will go to the egg donor for her time, participation and commitment to the egg donation process. Since using fresh eggs requires the most involvement and the use of hormonal medications, these donors will receive the higher compensation, while those that donate their eggs to have them frozen will receive less. One cycle of IVF costs approximately $12,400, and if your insurance company does not cover this cost, you’ll have to pay it up front. Although egg donations have high success rates, the high cost of the procedure can prevent many couples from pursuing their dream.

Fortunately, your longing for starting a family doesn’t have to seem so far out of reach. First, shop around for a clinic that offers a balance of realistic prices and reliable services. Reading testimonials, browsing through the available egg donors and evaluating the criteria that the egg donor program uses to match donors and couples are all factors to look into.

Second, consider programs that have money back guarantees. Although these programs differ across clinics, you can expect that you will pay an initial global fee, which will include a certain number of IVF cycles. This allows couples to complete more than one round of IVF, giving them the best chance of conceiving, while eliminating the need to pay individually for the treatments. On average, programs include five cycles of treatment before issuing their money back guarantee.

Enrolling in guarantee programs puts couples at ease, as they know they can try more than one time and are essentially “guaranteed” a child. If a child does not result from the attempted procedures, the couple will receive their money back. Otherwise, once the couple conceives, they can opt out of the program and the process is complete. Of course, there are more involved details, so it’s critical that you familiarize yourself with all aspects of the program.

When paying for the cost of donor eggs, you can also consider taking out an IVF loan that is offered through different loan programs. These programs can at least cover some of the costs so that you can get started with the egg donation process. Remember that IVF can be used as a tax deduction if your expenses are more than 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income. This can also help put money back in your pocket come tax time in order to help pay for treatment options.

The most important factor to remember is that while the cost of donor eggs is expensive, it is not out of reach for individuals and couples. By devising a plan, reaching out to your insurance company and taking advantage of money back guarantee programs; you can create a comprehensive treatment plan that enables you to have the priceless gift of life.

Julie Collins writes about infertility issues that people may face today and the cost of donor eggs. Always looking for leaders in the IVF industry to refer friends and family, she ends up sending them to more often than not.

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