The Costs of Infertility Treatment
By Barbara Collura
While medical staff expertise and clinic success rates, reputation and location will most likely be the criteria you use to choose an infertility clinic, cost may also be a factor. Since most assisted reproductive technologies (ART) are not covered by insurance, the patient has to pay “out-of-pocket,” often leading to increased stress as well as long-term financial burdens.
Trying to find the costs associated with infertility treatment can be frustrating. RESOLVE sought cost information from more than 30 clinics across the country. Most clinic websites do not list pricing; in fact, the financial information on most clinic websites deals primarily with insurance issues, not treatment cost or payment terms. Some clinics have relationships with financing organizations such as Advanced Reproductive Care (ARC) or IntegraMed, (see “Infertility Financing Programs"), and include links to those services on their websites, but offer little information about the actual cost of treatment.
The American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) lists the average price of an in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle in the U.S. to be $12,400. (ASRM does not qualify if this includes medications.) We sought to find the price of intrauterine insemination (IUI), one IVF cycle using fresh embryos, and the additional charges for intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) (where offered) from a cross section of clinics throughout the U.S. We called and e-mailed clinics that did not list prices on their websites, and discovered that some clinics generally do not give cost information over the phone (but they did for this story). When clinics do list the prices on their website, the information is clear and easy to understand, without many exclusions or disclaimers. RESOLVE encourages all clinics to post updated pricing on their websites.
- Average cost of an IUI cycle: $865; Median Cost: $350
- Average Cost of an IVF cycle using fresh embryos (not including medications): $8,158; Median Cost: $7,500
- Average additional cost of ICSI procedure:$1,544; Median Cost: $1,500
- Average additional cost of PGD procedure: $3,550; Median Cost: $3,200
(Note: Medications for IVF are $3,000 $5,000 per fresh cycle on average.)
Several interesting trends in clinic pricing have surfaced:
- In areas with few infertility clinics, prices, on average, are higher
- High cost of living does not equate to high treatment costs
- IUI prices ranged from $275 to $2,457—a huge differential. Some prices quoted include medications, blood work and sonograms; others do not—hence the huge price differential.
- ICSI prices across the country are within $500 of each other—$1,000 to $1,500.
Patients seeking ART such as IVF should choose their physician carefully and weigh a number of factors. If cost is a factor in your decision making, ask the clinic for a detailed list of procedures and corresponding costs, and follow up with these questions:
- Are medications, tests, lab work and consultations included in the cost of treatment?
- Does the clinic provide financial counseling and psychological counseling? If so, are there fees for these services?
Since most patients do not have insurance coverage for infertility treatment, knowing the costs up front makes good financial sense.
This article originally appeared in Family Building magazine, Summer 2006.