Having a child and starting a family is the dream for so many couples. Unfortunately, getting pregnant may prove to be a difficult challenge for some couples. According to the CDC, 12 percent of women of childbearing age (15-44) have received treatment for infertility – a total that equals 7.3 million U.S. women.
Thankfully, with the advancement within medicine and an evolution in social norms, in vitro fertilization (IVF) is becoming a popular option for couples longing to start a family on their own. However IVF is a costly treatment process since it is not typically covered by health insurance plans. Supermodels, Tyra Banks and Chrissy Teigen shared their experiences with IVF, and the high costs associated with it, in this FabLife episode.
For many couples, the fees are insurmountable and inaccessible. According to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, the average cost for IVF treatments is $12,400. In a recent Prosper Healthcare Lending survey, 84% of the women who have undergone IVF treatments state finances to be their biggest concerns. Higher than their emotional and health concerns.
If you are considering IVF, finances will need to be a part of the conversation with your doctor and significant other. Here are four steps that you can take to ensure that your financial wellness remains healthy during this process.
Step number one: create a couple's budget. Take a look at everything that needs to be covered within the household for the next twelve to eighteen months, including the fees for IVF treatments then ask yourself does this mean that we have to put other financial goals on hold, such as saving up for a down payment for a home or taking that extended vacation. Together, get clear on what your combined financial goals are and how IVF fits into this new budget.
Step number two: research various clinics and ask them about financing options. While you can choose to put the cost of IVF on your credit card, the associated interest payments will begin to be very costly. Many clinics have other options for you, including working with Prosper Healthcare Lending, to provide financing options for IVF treatments. Clinics that provide financing through Prosper include Frisco Fertility, Oregon Reproductive and Vivere- Houston.
Step number three: talk to a certified tax accountant about potential tax credits for IVF and fertility preservation. Currently, you can deduct medical expenses from your taxes, including IVF fees. Additionally, there are a number of proposed tax reform changes. Heaven knows what they will include, but the reform may or may not include additional tax credits for expenses related to fertility treatments. Be sure to work closely with a certified tax professional to stay on top of these changes.
Set number four: think through the financial cost of having a child and start planning for related expenses. Often times, couples are so excited about the thought of having a child that they forget that children do come with additional expenses. Take time to talk to other parents in your area about childcare fees, food costs and other unforeseen expenses to get a realistic sense of what to expect after having your bundle of joy.