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People experiencing infertility problems normally face a major battle in their life that affect their health, marriage, family relationships, job performance and social interactions. They may have found the solution through the numerous fertility centers and institutes available throughout the United States today. However, the hard fact is that these fertility treatments are not cheap. This is because most of these fertility centers use state-of-the-art technology and have experienced physicians providing healthcare. The good news is that some centers offer affordable package rates, loans and flexible financing programs to help couples reach their dream of becoming parents and starting their families.

Couples planning on seeking treatment for their infertility woes need to discuss several issues before making a decision. As infertility is an expensive condition, you need to have a budget and financial plan. It’s also important to know that money does not always guarantee success so couples bent on becoming parents just have to take the financial risk. In 2001 alone, infertility treatments costs Americans about $2.7 billion and majority of the recipients did not have insurance that covers fertility treatments. Many insurance companies only cover some of the costs and not the full treatment so it’s always better to have a contingent plan.

Insurance issues

Most reputable fertility clinics offer insurance counseling and financial planning assistance for first-time patients seeking fertility services. Doctors at some clinics work with patients on an extended payment plan for their treatment. Most of these centers also accept credit cards while some work with financial services companies that search for third-party loans to finance treatments. In this type of arrangement, payments can be stretched over a one-to-five year period instead of just a one lump sum payment.

Some doctors have also been creative enough in recent years that they have thought of providing flexible payment schemes for their patients who do not have insurance coverage. One example of this scheme was developed by the San Francisco-based Advanced Reproductive Care, Inc. which has now 90 clinics in the U.S. Fertility patients who avail of this program can get discount rates for their treatments and medications.

Another program that has resulted from the lack of insurance coverage issue is called the refund guarantee or shared-risk program. This program offers a refund to women who fail to get pregnant.

Financial aid programs

Meanwhile, the IntegraMed Financial Services (IFS) program provides low-interest healthcare financing for any type of infertility treatment from surgery to in vitro fertilizations to infertility medications. Patients are also allowed to select their reproductive endocrinologist while the IFS will take care of making an easy and affordable plan. IFS also claims to have an interest rate lower than most credit cards with no hidden fees, penalties or down payment requirements.

Another source of funds is your 401 (k) contributions, a type of Deferred Compensation Plan according to the Internal Revenue Code. To avail of this, patients can cite “hardship withdrawal” as their main reason to obtain a withdrawal. Many 401 (k) plans allow employees facing heavy financial needs to make a hardship withdrawal. The IRS regulations provide that this type of withdrawal may be available to cover costs for infertility treatments of employees, their spouses or any dependents.