This post was originally posted on January 30, 2019, but has been updated to add more ideas of ways to pay for IVF.
Since sharing that we would be doing IVF this year, I’ve received a loooooot of questions. No worries, I’m pretty much an open book about our journey (except I pinkie swear I won’t post those weirdo videos of me giving myself shots. gross.) because, well, it’s a topic that unless you’ve been through it, you know absolutely nothing about it. Which seriously, isn’t a dig, but when it comes to educating people to help them be more compassionate, I am ALLLLLL for it. So, I hope that whomever is reading this learns something helpful.
IVF is a tricky treatment. The cost can vary greatly depending on which clinic you go to. There are grants available. Sometimes insurance covers stuff, but more than likely it doesn’t. Clinical studies can lower costs, but you have to qualify for the study and they have specific terms that you have to agree to. Anyway, the cost varies. That’s what I was getting at. And no matter how you slice it, it’s just expensive. For most clinics, there aren’t money back guarantees (I’ve seen MBGs but you paid for multiple rounds of IVF at once and it was a PRETTY penny), so if a round fails, you’re just out that money. Honestly, it’s pretty terrifying, but if it works, then it’s totally worth it. But let’s get to the meat of this post:
how to actually cover the costs of IVF.
I have to start with the fact that every single situation is different. Some insurances DO cover fertility treatments, some only cover specific treatments and some only cover specific things. In our case, our insurance does not cover any portion of our fertility treatments. So I’m going to share how we’re covering the costs of our IVF treatment(s) [we’re hoping it only takes one!! please bless.]
How We’re Paying for IVF:
Budget Boot Camp.
We started budgeting. Seems like we should have been doing that a while ago? You’re right. We should have started budgeting when we got married, but we didn’t. And our finances got a liiiiittle out of control. And since we’re trying to do IVF at least once this year, we needed to reign it back in. We purchased Budget Boot Camp from Fun, Cheap or Free. It’s helped us to get back on track & we’re even paying off debt while saving for IVF!
We have an HSA account through Parker’s work. They’ll match up to $70 per paycheck. So we put in $70 per paycheck to our HSA. If you don’t know what an HSA is, it’s a Health Savings Account. This is pre-taxed money that goes into a specific account with its own debit card. This money can only be used for medical, dental or vision expenses. I highly recommend checking to see if you or your partner’s place of work has an HSA match. If they do, see when the next possible opportunity to hop on that is because whatever they match is free money going into your HSA account. Highly, highly, highly recommend this. (However, I have to note that we had to do a high deductible insurance plan to be eligible for the HSA. This was a better option for us simply because Parker’s workplace will match $140 per month. Be sure to check through all of your options) If your workplace doesn’t offer an HSA, check through your bank. Some banks offer HSA programs.
We are a strict debit or credit card only family. We don’t carry cash or change. Simply because it’s inconvenient. So on the random occasions that we DO get cash, it goes straight into our piggy bank. (literally, we have a piggy bank) I also made a goal in 2018 and 2019 to pick up every bit of spare change that I found on the ground. (We made around $75 just in change off the ground in 2018) All of the money in the piggy goes straight into our IVF fund when we deposit it into the bank.
Funnies. AKA Fun Money.
We try to allot ourselves some funnies every month (because what’s the point if you work, work, work, work, work and then everything goes to bills?!). But for the duration of our IVF journey, the money that is allotted for funnies goes into our IVF fund.
We didn’t ask anyone for donations to help cover the cost of IVF, but we did have some generous family members and friends gift us some money. We are seriously so grateful for their generosity and I legitimately cry over it every time I think about it.
We did a Mini Photo Session Fundraiser. We had three days of Mini Sessions that we offered. We did a Mommy + Me Mini Session day, Family Session day and then one day of either. We were able to raise a good portion of the money we needed for our first round of IVF through these Mini Sessions. I loved the fundraiser option that we chose because it allowed us to work for the money we were given by people who were willing and able to support us.
This is a huge part of how we covered our first round of IVF. We were invited to be a part of a clinical trial and that is helping to cover a portion of our costs, which is incredible. Our fertility center has a clinical trial + study team and if you’re in Utah and you want more information on that, email firstname.lastname@example.org!
Other ways to pay for IVF:
Grants are a great way to pay for IVF because if you get them, they are basically free money. We didn’t look into any grant options because we wanted to start as soon as possible and it can take a few months to find out if you received a grant or not.
I’ve seen people start a Go-Fund-Me for their IVF journey. This option felt weird to us, so we opted out of that one. (And we didn’t like the fact that Go-Fund-Me takes a cut) However, this is still a viable option and could definitely help you reach your goal, if needed.
Like I mentioned, we did a fundraiser to help cover some of the costs. But if you’re not a photographer, then Mini Sessions probably aren’t the route you should take in terms of fundraising. Here are a few other fundraiser ideas:
- Bake Sale
- Garage Sale (if it wasn’t winter, I’d totally do this!)
- Sell T-shirts
- Sell Jewelry
Get a part-time job.
No, but seriously. Deliver pizzas. Try direct sales (I’d recommend Color Street or Perfectly Posh because their start up costs are much lower than others I’ve seen) Turn a hobby into a side hustle.
Ask for a raise.
If you’re a stellar employee and you’ve been at your company for a while, don’t be afraid to ask for a raise. The worst that can happen is they’ll say no. You won’t lose your job for asking for a raise and if you get it, it can ultimately help you pay for your IVF.
We plan on selling some things that we have lying around our house that we don’t use as often as we should. We’re not about the whole Marie Kondo sparking joy stuff, but there is some stuff lying around our house we don’t use so we’re going to try to sell some things to make some extra cash!
Try a Bonfire Campaign.
Bonfire is a trusted and used website by so many of my TTC friends raising money for their own cycles and treatments. One thing I love about Bonfire is that they have a section dedicated to Infertility Awareness products on their website! They have so many fun ideas and designs for Infertility Warriors!
IVF is expensive. I know it. I get the tears over the financial struggle + penny pinching. But I also want to tell you how STOKED I am that we are able to do this. It feels so freeing, exciting and like we have some control back in our lives & in our fertility journey! We are so excited and we can’t wait for our IVF cycle to start!
Did I miss something in my list? How did you get creative and pay for IVF?