Get it? It’s like the song “Seasons of Love” from Rent, only slightly more depressing. That’s how much money we have to come up with before we start a single cycle of IVF. With an estimated cost of $17,000, we have to pay $11,735 up front before we can start the process. The idea that we could spend $17,000 and not have a viable pregnancy at the end of this is a tough pill to swallow.
That’s why our doctor’s office offers two different approaches for IVF; the single cycle IVF (with potential for frozen embryo transfer, should the first cycle not take) or what the office refers to as the VIP program. The vested interest program allows couples to pay only for a successful IVF treatment. The VIP option requires an down payment of $20,500, for up to three fresh IVF cycles, to be performed within a calendar year.
In the event that none of the cycles are successful, 90% of the initial down payment is refundable. However, unlike the single IVF cycle, the VIP option does not include medications or monitoring costs. The overall estimate for the VIP option for three cycles with the added costs is $33,000. If all three cycles prove to be unsuccessful, we’d receive a refund of $18,450. The final kicker with VIP is that, unlike single cycle IVF treatments, none of these costs are submitted to insurance, so everything we pay would be out-of-pocket.
So what’s the right option? We know that my current insurance recognizes infertility and IVF, meaning we could potentially save a fair amount on a single cycle. But, we also know that my insurance has a lifetime cap of $10,000 on fertility treatments. So do we bet all our chips on one treatment, or spend a considerable amount more on up to three to try to ensure that one actually takes? Then, if none of them do, we at least have our refund to explore other options.
The good news is that we don’t have to decide until later this summer. The bad news is I’m not sure which option is the right one.
(Fertile) people tell you to be positive when you’re going through fertility procedures. It’s not that I’m not positive, but I didn’t emotionally prepare for a negative pregnancy test after our first round of IUI and it practically destroyed me. So yes, I know I need to be positive, but I also need to be practical. It might not work.