Image: Some Ryan Gosling Encouragement
I am pretty open these days with my family, friends and coworkers about my infertility struggles and I talk freely about the IVF process for many reasons. I do this in hopes of not only increasing my support network but to also educate people about what it’s like for women who struggle with fertility issues. Without fail, each time I explain how expensive IVF is there is always the reaction of jaws dropped in absolute shock. There is also the occasional hand thrown to the heart as if they are going into cardiac arrest. The “sticker shock” is well, incredibly shocking! But knowing this is my only option for a healthy pregnancy and that my time is limited due to my low ovarian reserve, I knew I had to figure out something financially and to figure it out quickly. When most women talk about their biological clock ticking, my situation is like that, but imagine the typical biological clock has been sped up ten times faster. My reproductive endocrinologist said, “We can’t waste any time, we need to get started on this now.” So how was I able to finance my IVF? There are so many ways to pay for IVF, in fact I am considering devoting a whole section of my blog here soon to this subject. But for this entry I will explain how I worked it out for myself and briefly go over the other ways you can too.
How I paid for IVF:
- Extra work: did overtime when it was available, took on second job temporarily
- Selling on Amazon (my sales are very low at the moment, but every little bit helps)
- Savings: set amount pulled from each paycheck and put in special savings account at different bank (so I wouldn’t have easy access to it and make it harder to spend on “emergencies”)
- Cut expenses to the bone: no clothes shopping, reduced phone bill, pack lunch to work, make coffee at home 95% of time, etc.
- IVF grant: Applied to grants I was qualified for. Excited to share that I won one grant that paid for part of my procedure.
- Borrowing money: borrowed money from family (to avoid high interest rates for an IVF loan)
- Attain Fertility discount program: savings if you pay for two or more IVF cycles in advance. Check if your fertility clinic offers this program.
Other options available for IVF:
- Double check if any of your IVF might be covered by insurance, including medication costs
- IVF grants: apply to all the ones you are qualified for. You might actually win. Be thorough with your application, don’t miss any sections and do it to the best of your ability. Ask for help from friends/family if you need to.
- 0% APR interest credit card
- Sell things around the home: Garage sale, consignment shop, craigslist, etc.
- Side work: second job or side business
- IVF or medical loan: always ask what the interest rate will be, if you can try to avoid high interest loans
- Fundraising events or through online fundraising sites such as Go Fund Me
I’m sure there are a lot more I could list, but these are what I can think of at the moment. Basically anything and everything you can do to keep your costs down the better. My goal was to avoid paying interest, so any money I was short I asked if I could borrow the money from family in order to avoid interest, and they were more than willing to help. I’ve heard that unfortunately there are predatory loan practices with the IVF loan industry because they know women need money fast so they have very high interest rates and take advantage of those women. I’m not saying all IVF loan companies are like this, I’m just saying that this is something to be aware of. I’ve read that some of those companies charge upwards of 35% interest rate on a loan. You might be better off getting a loan from the mafia at that point. Please don’t resort to terrible interest rate loans or the mafia for help. You also don’t need to rob a bank, although feel free to joke about it if it gives you a good laugh to talk about with friends and family.
Plan to have extra money just in case there are unexpected expenses. I did not realize my medication costs were not included in the IVF discount program. Big mistake! I was scrambling trying to come up with thousands of dollars at the last minute. Keep a decent sized emergency fund in addition to your IVF savings, because emergencies do happen while you are saving up. Our clothes dryer stopped working, my car’s check engine light came on, and a handful of of other little emergencies came up during the time we were saving.
There are so many different ways to reach your goal of paying for IVF. Take the time to do research to figure out what methods of saving up will work for you. Leave no stone unturned. My biggest advice to you is to do anything and everything to avoid interest payments or to at least reduce the percentage of interest you might pay by shopping around. Please go beyond reading this blog entry and extend your research far and wide across many credible websites and books on how to pay for IVF. Also check out IVF forums where other women talk about what worked for them, this was a valuable resource to me. As I mentioned before I am planning to dedicate a whole section of my website to the subject of ways to pay for IVF. I will also include how to apply to IVF grants and talk about how I was able to win an IVF grant. Please check back for more details. Paying for IVF is a big undertaking, but with consistent effort you will get there!
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