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IVF Cost: Analyzing the True Cost of In Vitro Fertilization

By CNY Fertility Updated on

Table of Contents

Trying to understand the true cost of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) can be a mind-boggling undertaking – the fees from multiple parties, insurance coverage, financing option, and more quickly sends you into a nebulous cloud of confusion.  Adding to that, just about all the things that go into the cost of IVF vary greatly from state to state, clinic to clinic, and patient to patient.  Because of this, you’re likely to come across or be quoted a number of answers that range widely. This ultimate guide to the cost of In Vitro Fertilization is intended to break down those costs and just about everything else you need to know about the price of IVF; buckle up!

What does IVF Cost: An Overview

A complete In Vitro Fertilization cycle can cost anywhere from $4,700 to over $30,000. That’s an outrageously wild spread, but that’s the truth.  It all depends on who you’re asking and what it is you’re specifically asking.  That’s because the total cost is dependent upon many factors, billed for by multiple parties (fertility clinics, pharmacies, genetic labs, etc), and often takes multiple treatments to be successful. 

Before we break everything down in detail, let’s quickly touch on the three of the most common prices you’ll see when discussing the average cost of In Vitro Fertilization treatment here in the USA:

  • The Cost of a Basic IVF Package:  Prices range greatly from as little as $4,700 here at CNY Fertility to around $20,000. The national average is around $12,000.  It includes everything you “need,” to do an IVF cycle but it doesn’t include many important components on an IVF procedure like medications that an overwhelming majority of patients will encounter.  
  • The Total cost of a Single IVF Cycle: Here at CNY, the total cost of an IVF cycle is usually around $8,000 but can go over $30,000 at some clinics with a national average around $20,000.  It includes the costs of “add on” services like ICSI, medications, and more that are typically encountered in an IVF cycle. The exact cost at each clinic will depend on what medication protocol and add on services are used.
  • The Total Cost to Bring Home a Baby with IVF:  The cost to bring home a baby could indeed be as low as a one cycle total if that cycle is successful, though it’s safer to plan for an average that accounts for two IVF retrievals and a few FETs (the average couple undergoing IVF in the US undergoes two IVF cycles). At CNY, that price range is something between $16,000 and $20,000. The national average is in the range of $40,000-50,000. It is not uncommon to encounter those who have spent over $100,000 on treatment.

In Vitro Fertilization Cost Comparison: CNY Fertility vs. National Average

 

Average Cost of IVF Overview

 

With a mission to provide the most accessible fertility care, CNY Fertility has long been the most affordable fertility clinic in the USA with a cost 1/3 to 1/2 the national average for most treatments, including IVF.

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Since we should now have a high-level understanding of many of the figures thrown around when discussing the cost of IVF in the USA, let’s take a deeper dive into each of the three above mentioned figures.

The Average Cost of IVF Billed by the Fertility Clinic: $12,000

The average cost of In Vitro Fertilization is most often quoted around $12,000 because that’s what is stated by the Society of Reproductive Medicine and what is billed directly by a fertility clinic for a basic, no-frills, IVF cycle .  It’s important to note that this $12,000 average doesn’t include any critical “add on” services like ICSI (also billed by the fertility clinic) or IVF medications (billed by pharmacies). 

Although this average cost covers the minimum of what is required for an IVF cycle (natural IVF), saying In Vitro Fertilization costs an average of $12,000 is a false narrative as well over 99% of people add on services past this barebone IVF. 

Breakdown of What is Included

This base price includes everything “needed,” to do an IVF Cycle:

  • Monitoring Appointments:  Monitoring appointments track ovarian/uterine lining development and time the egg retrieval.
  • Egg Retrieval + Anesthesia: The egg retrieval is the procedure to remove the eggs from the ovaries.
  • Conventional Fertilization: Conventional IVF fertilization involves prepping the sperm and putting them in a petri dish to fertilize the eggs.
  • A Fresh Embryo Transfer: A fresh embryo transfer puts the (never before frozen) IVF embryos back into the uterus.

It’s important to keep in mind that while this is the average cost of the bare bones necessary to do In Vitro Fertilization, the price quoted to you by a fertility clinic for their base IVF package could include more or less services and cost a lot more or a lot less. For example, here at CNY our often quoted price of $3,900 does not include the necessary monitoring appointments, but it does include other services that are often charged extra for at other many clinics. Our $3,900 IVF includes the following extra things not included in the $12,000 national average:

  • ICSI Fertilization: ICSI is a micro procedure where an individual sperm is isolated and injected directly into the egg. It is necessary for male factor infertility.
  • Assisted Hatching (AH): AH helps embryos shed their outer shell which is necessary for implantation.
  • Cryopreservation:  Freezing of remaining embryos.
  • Storage: Storing those remaining frozen embryos for one year.

Monitoring costs $800 and is not included in the base price of our IVF because it is often covered by insurance and over half our clients travel to us from out of state/country and choose to have their monitoring done locally – that way they only need to be near our facility for a short 2-7 days. Clients like this pay $3,900 for IVF and a small $150 remote cycle management fee.  For locals (or those from out of state but choosing to travel to us for their entire treatment) our base IVF including monitoring is $4700.

It’s also important to know that many clinics itemize certain aspects of the IVF process. For example, a clinic could say:

  • $8,000 for IVF
  • $2,000 for the anesthesia
  • $2,000 for the embryo transfer

Because of this disparity in the way IVF packages are “built,” and the amount charged by each clinic, it’s important that you understand exactly what is included in your quoted price and what other potential add on costs can be. While you would assume those that quote you higher numbers include more things than those that quote lower numbers, it’s simply not true. 

The Total Cost of One In Vitro Fertilization Treatment

The total cost of the average IVF cycle in the USA is around $20,000. But how do we get from the base price of $12,000 to $20,000?  To further explain, let’s break down some of the more significant additional costs (billed by both the fertility clinic and third parties) on our way to the commonly sited price of roughly $20,000 . Similarly, these too are averages and prices experienced by any individual can range widely. 

The Cost of IVF Medications: $4,000 – Billed by a Fertility Pharmacy

The average cost of IVF Medications is around $4,000. This is the cost of injectable medications used for ovarian stimulation (with the goal of developing a number of high-quality eggs) and transfer medications. If pregnancy is achieved, medication expenses could continue to rise as they are often used for many months, or even the duration of the gestation in order to provide pregnancy support.  Even without the medications used to support an established IVF pregnancy, it is one of the largest line items in an IVF cycle and even has the potential to cost more than the services billed by the fertility clinic.

While $4,000 is a good average there is a wide range (roughly $2,000-7,000) of possible prices based on a few factors:

  • Protocol: Medication protocols range significantly meaning you could pay significantly less for things like a low-dose or mini IVF protocol (which uses fewer medications) or significantly more for a high dose cycle or those that use immune medications in the treatment of failed IVF cycles or recurrent pregnancy loss.
  • Clinic: Larger clinics have stronger purchasing/negotiating power on behalf of their patients. As a way to secure business from a large clinic, specialty fertility pharmacies will offer their clients better prices.
  • Pharmacy: Pharmacies naturally vary in price. While the variation may not be too much,  the potential savings can justify shopping around.
  • Type/Brand: Certain brand name medications can cost slightly more than generics if available.

Unless you’re pursuing a mini IVF protocol, you can expect to pay at least $3,000 for your IVF medications.

ICSI Cost: $1500 – Billed by the Fertility Clinic

The average cost of ICSI is around $1,500. However, this too is highly variable. Some clinics include it in their base pricing while others charge upwards of $3,000.

ICSI or intracytoplasmic sperm injection may not be absolutely necessary for everyone, but it will be for many. It is the most popular fertilization method and generally offers the best assurance for fertilization.

The alternative to ICSI fertilization is conventional fertilization which is (or should) always be included in the base price of treatment.

Assisted Hatching Cost: $500 – Billed by the Fertility Clinic

The average cost of assisted hatching is around $500 but similarly varies in cost from free (included in base price) to around $1,000.

Assisted Hatching (AH) is an embryonic procedure in which a special laser is used to assist an embryo in hatching from its shell (zona pellucida). The zona pellucida initially helps to protect the egg and resulting embryo, but it is essential that the embryo hatch from the zona pellucida for it to implant in the uterine wall and create a pregnancy. AH is typically only used when necessary if the zona pellucida is not already thinning before an embryo transfer.

Cryopreservation + First Year Storage: $600 – Billed by the Fertility Clinic

Some clinics may include cryopreservation and storage in their base price, but it typically garners a cost of around $600 with recurring annual storage fees.

Why needs cryopreservation? A large percentage of IVF patients. Patients who undergo IVF often have several mature eggs collected during the egg retrieval process.  Each mature egg is usually fertilized and grown in the embryology lab.  After several days of growth in the lab, a patient may have multiple high-quality embryos eligible for embryo transfer back to the uterus. In many cases, there are more embryos than can be transferred at one time, especially given the increased use of single embryo transfers.

The surplus of high-quality embryos that are not initially transferred are in most cases, frozen or cryopreserved, for future use.

Frozen Embryo Transfers: $4,000 – Billed by the Fertility Clinic

The average cost of a Frozen Embryo Transfer is around $4,000, but ranges from $650 here at CNY to over $5,000. Frozen embryo transfers (FET) are rarely included in the base price of IVF, but are a NECESSARY procedure for a large number of patients who, as mentioned above have multiple embryos or for those whose uterine lining is not prepared in time for a fresh transfer.

The stimulation medications given to produce multiple eggs often makes it difficult for the woman’s body to prepare the uterine lining for the embryos in only a few short days after the egg retrieval. This can lower the odds of a successful fresh transfer making it may be medically advised to do a “Freeze All” cycle followed by an FET.  Ultrasound and Bloodwork monitoring will help you and your reproductive endocrinologist make this decision during the stimulation phase of the IVF cycle.

Preimplantation Genetic Testing: $4,500 – Billed by Both the Fertility Clinic and a Genetics Lab

Preimplantation Genetic Testing is the testing of an embryo’s genetic profile prior to being transferred. It is usually done to improve the success rates by determining which embryos have a normal number of chromosomes or which do not carry known genetic disorders of the parents – though it does come with some risk.  It can also often used to choose the sex of the embryo transferred.

Genetic testing costs range significantly and often involve two bills, one from the fertility clinic for taking the embryo biopsy and the other from the genetics lab for performing the actual genetic analysis.  Besides the inherent differences charged by clinics for their embryonic biopsies most genetic testing is charged based on the number of embryos being tested along with the type of tests being run.

Cost from the clinic range from $700-3000 for the biopsy and $1,000-$3,500 from the genetics lab for the actual genetic testing.

It’s important to remember that it takes some time to get the results for PGT which means all of the embryos must be frozen to await results. Therefore, someone doing PGT will also encounter fees associated with an FET.

Total Cost of IVF Breakdown

IVF Cost Breakdown

The Average Cost to Bring Home a Baby with IVF

The last number we are going to talk about is the largest number when talking about the average cost of IVF: what it costs to actually bring home a baby. That number depends largely on the cost of a single cycle, but some studies report averages of $50-60,000.

The Need for Multiple IVF Cycles

Simply put, IVF doesn’t always work. In fact, even in the best of circumstances, the odds of a single IVF  cycle being successful tops off around 50-60%. For those where the female is in her late thirties and forties, that number is much lower.  That means that many will undergo multiple rounds of IVF. How many? According to one study, the “average” couple will need 2.7 IVF (with a median of 2) cycles to achieve a successful outcome . Multiplying $20,000 by 2.7 and you’ll land yourself right at $54,000. Multiplying $20,000 by the median of 2 and you land yourself safely at $40,000.

To help visualize why the average couple needs 2/2.7 cycles, take a look at the graph below which looks at the odds if at least one cycle being successful over 6 cycles. 

As you can quickly see from the above graph, having a child from IVF can in many cases take multiple IVF cycles. Given the average cost of one complete IVF cycle is near $20,000, you should now be able to understand how the average couple spends $40-60,000 on IVF treatment before they have a child.

IVF Cost with Insurance

Out of pocket costs for IVF can be substantially reduced with the help of insurance.  But what exactly does IVF cost with insurance? That’s a bit tricky because while only 25% or so of American’s have insurance coverage for the IVF treatment itself, more have coverage for diagnostic testing, monitoring, or other components of the IVF procedure which could lower your total out of cost expenses. Some insurance plans will cover:

  • No fertility related expenses.
  • Diagnostic testing for infertility but no treatment.
  • Diagnostic testing for infertility and some less costly/invasive treatments like IUI (aka artificial insemination).
  • Diagnostic testing and the full spectrum of fertility treatments including IVF.

With that in mind, it’s important you read your health insurance plan carefully and give them a call to ask any further questions. Remember even if your IVF is covered by your specific health insurance plan – costs could still be subject to your deductible, which means you could spend over $10,000 out of pocket before you benefits kick in.

That said, there are two main “ways” to get insurance with IVF coverage in the united states.

  • Live in a state that mandates insurance companies offer IVF coverage.
  • Work for a company that volunteering offers fertility benefits as a way of attracting and maintaining talent . . . or to simply do what is right!

IVF Coverage by State

States with IVF Coverage

A number of states have laws that mandate some form of fertility coverage. However, of the 17 states that have laws pertaining to infertility coverage, only 9 of those states have laws that mandate IVF coverage in some form. Even still,  many of the laws mandating IVF coverage are written in a way that excludes a large number of people from coverage. For instance, some laws exclude plans offered by employers with less than 100 employees; according to the united states small business administration, this alone leaves out approximately half the workforce.

Let’s quickly review some of the states with IVF laws for reference:

Arkansas

Arkansas has a $15,000 lifetime max for fertility coverage. This covers IVF, but has the following stipulations.

  • One must have at least a 2-year history of infertility OR the infertility must be caused by a diagnosis of: endometriosis, blocked or surgically removed fallopian tubes  (not from an elective tubal ligation), DES exposure, abnormal male factors contributing to the infertility.
  • The woman’s eggs must be fertilized by their spouse’s sperm.
  • One must have been unable to obtain a successful pregnancy through less costly treatments (meaning the $15,000 will likely be close to used up before IVF)

Connecticut

The Connecticut law includes both Individual and group health insurance policies and includes coverage for things like IUI, IVF, etc.

Some exclusions include:

  • Under the age of 40
  • Lifetime maximum of two IVF cycles

Deleware

Delaware’s law includes up to 6 IVF Retrievals with an unlimited number of transfers from those retrievals and also donor egg cycles.

Some exclusions include:

  • Retrievals must be complete before the age of 45, transfers before the age of 50.
  • Employers who self-insure, or who have fewer than 50 employees, are exempt from requirements

Hawaii

Hawaii has laws that mandate coverage of one cycle of IVF. Of course, there are many rules and stipulations.

  • Coverage is only required if the patient or spouse has at least a 5 year history of infertility or if the infertility is associated with one of the following conditions: endometriosis; DES exposure; blocked or surgically removed fallopian tubes; abnormal male factors contributing to the infertility.
  • The eggs must be fertilized with spouse’s sperm.
  • Coverage only given if other treatments failed.
  • Self-insure employers are exempt from providing coverage.

Illinois

Each person is covered for 4 egg retrievals. However, if a live birth occurs in one of those cycles, two additional egg retrievals will be covered with a true lifetime maximum of six retrievals.

Exempt possible for religious organizations.

Massachusetts

Each person is covered for 4 egg retrievals. However, if a live birth occurs in one of those cycles, two additional egg retrievals will be covered with a true lifetime maximum of six retrievals.

Maryland

The state of Maryland requires individual and group insurance policies that provide pregnancy-related benefits to cover the cost IVF with the following limitations.

  • Coverage may be limited to three IVF attempts per live birth and have a lifetime maximum of $100,000
  • Must be able to get pregnant via less expensive treatment options.
  • Must have at least a two-year history of infertility or have infertility caused by: endometriosis, blocked or surgically removed fallopian tubes (non-voluntary), abnormal male factors, or fetal exposure to diethylstilbestrol (DES).
  • The male spouses sperm must be used to fertilize the woman’s eggs unless he is unable to produce or deliver functional sperm (and that this inability is not related to voluntary sterilization)
  • For same sex couples, there must be six previously failed attempts of artificial insemination over the course of two years or have infertility is related to one of the conditions mentioned above.

Religious organizations may be exempt.

New Hampshire

Provides coverage for medically necessary fertility treatments. Coverage does not apply to plans available through the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) or to Extended Transition to Affordable Care Act-Compliant Policies.

New Jersey

Coverage includes 4 Egg retrievals per lifetime and requires the patient to 45 years of age or younger. Employers with less than 50 employees are exempt.

New York

Private health plans from employers with 100 or more full-time employees must provide coverage for up to three cycles of IVF (frozen embryo transfers count as a cycle).

Rhode Island

Coverage is provided for those between 25 and 42 years of age and imposes a $100,000 cap on treatment. The insurer may also charge a 20% co-payment.

Companies that offer IVF Insurance

Besides living in a state that mandates IVF coverage, Starbucks, along with a growing number of companies offering IVF coverage as a way to attract and maintain quality employees

Some companies like Starbucks and Chobani even offer coverage to hourly employees and many tech giants also offer things like egg freezing.

Help Affording In Vitro Fertilization Treatment

There are a number of financing and other unique ways to pay for fertility this expensive fertility treatment.

IVF Financing

Financing is available in a number of forms for IVF. While some clinics like CNY offer financing, most clinics partner with third-party lenders to offer financing. Then there are lenders that aren’t associated with specific clinics meaning you could take the funds you receive anywhere you’d like. Those lenders include companies that heave dedicated IVF and fertility lending programs to those like credit unions who offer a basic personal loan.

Learn more about IVF financing here.

IVF Grants

An IVF grant is a great way to reduce the cost of your fertility treatment . . . and well, why not get a free IVF cycle if at all possible? There are dozens of grants throughout the USA and while some have specific residency requirements or are for those of a particular demographic, many like the CNY IVF Grant are open to everyone and takes place every month.

IVF Guarantee or Refund Programs

Many fertility clinics generally offer some form of a guarantee program where you pay a lump sum for a specific number of IVF cycles, upfront. If you don’t become pregnant, you receive a full or partial refund. But if you become pregnant on one of the earlier cycles, you don’t get any of your money back meaning you paid a lot more than you needed to. Because of this, these programs are often called shared risk.

CNY Fertility offers a 75% refund on six cycles for $20,000 with our Fertile Guarantee™.

Mini IVF

Mini (low-stim, minature, etc) IVF is In Vitro Fertilization that simply uses less medications. It is often touted as an “affordable IVF” and it is true that it may reduce the cost of a single IVF cycle, it’s important to understand that less medications usually means less eggs, which usually means less embryos, which usually means lower odds of a successful pregnancy from that one IVF egg retrieval. This means that the cost to bring home a baby via mini IVF may actually be more than conventional IVF with standard medication dosing. Remember, a FET cycle using embryos from a previous IVF stimulation and retrieval is a lot less expensive than a new IVF cycle. So while it is a great option for many, it’s important to discuss this option, they type of ovarian response you can expect from both a standard and low-dose, and the potential success rates with your reproductive endocrinologist.

Even further down the spectrum of cutting medication dosing is what is called natural IVF.  In natural IVF, no medications are taken meaning it would be rare to get more than one egg.

INVOcell

INVOcell is an intravaginal culture system that replaces the embryology/IVF laboratory during a IVF procedure. It therefore can best be seen as a treatment off-shoot of In Vitro Fertilization. The INVOcell device is a small thumb sized plastic device in which the eggs and sperm are placed in before being inserted into the vagina to allow for fertilization and early embryonic development to take place.

INVOcell is highly marketed as a more cost effective alternative to IVF, but those claims are largely dependent upon a few factors, namely:

  • It being compared to the more expensive IVF clinics, not those who offer more affordable models like CNY.
  • It often being paired with a “mini” or reduced medication protocol mentioned above which can help save money during the course of one IVF cycle.

That said, INVOcell may not be more affordable at every clinic and also has substantially lower success rates (approximately half) than IVF.

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) & Health Savings Accounts (HSA)

FSAs and HSAs are pre-tax accounts you can use for health care related expenses. The main difference between the two is that a FSA is employer owned, less flexible, and can not be rolled over; HSAs are controlled by individuals and contributions can roll over into another year.

They each have their own maximum contribution limits and restrictions, but they are both great ways to save a significant amount of money by using pre-tax dollars to pay for qualifying medical expenses.

Medical Tourism

With the out of cost expenses for IVF being more than the average American family’s discretionary income , many look outside their local area to find more affordable fertility care options.

While the cost of IVF in India and other third world countries is a draw to many, particularly those with roots in those particular parts of the world, many stay within the states but still find savings by price shopping.

CNY is one of these “destination,” clinics people travel to in great numbers from both coasts of the United States, Canada, and countries around the globe. In fact over 50% of CNY clients come from states in which there are no CNY offices.

Medication Discount Programs

There are a number of medication discount that can help pay for some the IVF medication cost.

The Bottom Line

The “cost” of IVF ranges from $3,900 to well over $60,000 because people/organizations quote various aspects that make up a part or the entirety of an IVF treatment and its main goal, bringing home a baby.  The average IVF cycle costs that includes all the necessary components costs around $20,000, but much more affordable options exist. Given IVF often costs more than the average American’s yearly household dispensable income, it’s common that those considering IVF travel for their treatment to more affordable clinics, look for financing options to spread payments over a period of time, and also explore options like grants and refund programs.

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