– Does Insurance Cover Freezing Eggs –
Does Insurance Cover Freezing Eggs: For a number of reasons, a woman may choose to postpone childbirth and freeze her eggs, but the cost of the treatment for health care may be prohibitive.
Your state may allow your insurance carrier to pay for this treatment in a few situations, and other alternatives may be open to you if not. Read on to find out what egg freezing is, how much it costs, and how you might pay for it.
Why Freeze Your Eggs
Preserving eggs is something that women may choose to do if they want to wait to get pregnant until they have continued their career, if they have not found the right life partner yet, or if for some other reason they want to postpone pregnancy.
As a woman ages, the value of her eggs decreases, beginning at approximately 32 years of age and growing faster after age 37.1 Therefore, if a woman chooses to delay being pregnant, freezing eggs may increase her chances of a successful pregnancy later.
If you have trouble ovulating, you may also need to freeze your sperm. This can be caused by polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), a problem of hormonal imbalance, as well as blocked fallopian tubes caused by pelvic inflammatory disease, uterine fibroids, or a number of other medical conditions.
A common infertility treatment, if you have a condition that affects your ability to get pregnant, freezes the eggs of a woman to preserve them so that she can receive treatment that improves.
How much does egg freezing cost?
Since most health insurance companies do not cover egg freezing, it is necessary to pay out of pocket expenses and can cost tens of thousands of dollars.
Cancer is the primary reason for paying to insurance companies. In a CNN article, Dr. Jeffrey Steinberg said,”… if a woman is diagnosed with cancer or has to undergo surgery, radiation, chemotherapy or some kind of medical procedure that will make her infertile, we can usually get the insurance company to cover the process.”
If you don’t have cancer (and hopefully you don’t and never will), here’s the cost breakdown:
- An anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) test (which is given in order to determine how many eggs you’re likely to make) costs about $250.
- Egg collection can range anywhere from $7,000 to $15,000 per attempt.
- Drugs (like the pre-measured injection of the follicle-stimulating hormone FSH) will cost $2,500-$7,000 per attempt.
- Storage costs will set you back $500 upfront and $250 annually.
- Thawing and insemination cost $7,500.
And although many facilities have financing programs to help women who can’t afford it, the whole process can cost you around $50,000.
Does Insurance Cover the Cost?
There are 16 jurisdictions that allow insurance companies to cover or support infertility diagnosis and treatment.5 Of these states, 14 have laws that require insurance companies to cover infertility treatment, and two states— California and Texas — have laws that require insurance companies to provide coverage for infertility treatment.
Many insurers can cover the activity outside of the 16 states listed above, but they are not legally required to do so. Even if your insurance company does not cover the entire procedure, it may cover certain parts of the process of cryopreservation such as ultrasound or blood testing.
Many states have introduced legislation requiring insurance cover to maintain fertility. The Federal Access to Infertility Treatment and Care Act (H.R. 5965) was introduced in May 2018.
This bill would require coverage for medically necessary procedures such as cancer treatments for patients who wish to undergo fertility preservation services such as egg freezing.
Even if the costs are covered by coverage, there are some conditions you must follow to qualify for protection.
If you ask that your insurance cover egg freezing costs, review the workplace insurance plan or call the insurance company and ask them to explain your coverage.
Ways To Save On Egg Freezing
- Read your employee benefits plan very closely. Some employers cover egg freezing for their employees.
- Read your health insurance plan or call your employee benefits representative. Some health insurance plans cover infertility-related costs, such as medications or later IVF to use frozen eggs, partially or in full.
- Price shop, negotiate, and ask questions. Be sure to ask clinics for an itemized list of what each package includes and doesn’t include. Some packages and practices may include guarantees such as a certain number of eggs, whereas others may not include necessary parts of your care, like anesthesia or monitoring visits.
- Shop around for your fertility drugs. As you read above, fertility drugs are expensive. However, it is possible to find a deal. Call around to different pharmacies to ask about their rates, or ask your healthcare team about pharmacies that may offer special rates to their patients.
Ways to Get The Funds You Need For Egg Freezing
- Save! Set an auto-deduction from your bank account on a regular basis, possibly on your pay day, to help save the funds you need for egg freezing over time. Even if you’re saving $50 per paycheck, it adds up!
- Invest in a high-yield checking or savings account. While you’re accumulating funds for egg freezing, consider the best place to store and grow your money. Your existing bank account may not be paying you much interest to hold your money, and there may be better options. You might also explore Certificates of Deposit (CDs) which have higher interest rates than standard checking and savings accounts but the cash is less accessible—they have a fixed date when you can withdraw the funds.
- Take steps to free up cash. Set goals to put aside small sums, like making coffee or cooking at home instead of dining out, using public transit, or cutting the cable cord.
- Explore financing and payment plans for egg freezing. Some lending companies cater to people who are incurring large medical expenses. Explore loans from these vendors, but pay attention to the interest rate and any other required fees.
- Use CareCredit or another 0% APR card. Credit cards like CareCredit can offer promotional periods of 0% APR financing which can help you pay for the up-front costs of egg freezing—but be careful of ballooning interest rates after the promotional period is over.
- Use a rewards credit card. Fertility clinics will often accept credit cards and this can be a good way to rack up some travel or cash back rewards for you and your family!
- Consider asking friends and family to chip in. Sites like GoFundMe and Indiegogo are great places to tell your story and get small (or large) donations from friends to help cover the costs.
Whether or not your insurance company will cover your choice of freezing your eggs depends on both the company and the laws in your state. Find an insurance company that offers coverage for egg storage by comparison shopping.
Even though covering the cost of freezing your eggs is difficult as many providers do not cover it, it’s not impossible.
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