For many couples who are having difficulty conceiving, fertility assistance through a specialised clinic becomes their only chance of having a baby. Thus added to the emotional and physical toll exacted by infertility is the financial burden carried by many seeking treatment.
Although the drive to have a baby can be almost overwhelming, if you are considering using IVF to help with conception it is very important that you do careful research first. While medical staff expertise and clinic success rates, reputation and location will most likely be the criteria you use to choose an infertility clinic, cost may also be a factor.
What’s IVF going to cost me?
Most open medical aids in South Africa, will not cover any infertility procedures, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF). Some will pay for part of the cost, but that still leaves you to pay for the rest in cash, often leading to increased stress as well as long-term financial burdens.
Medical aids argue that being infertile is not a life-threatening medical condition, like heart disease. However, they do pay for the treatment of diseases that can affect or cause fertility, like surgical procedures to unblock fallopian tubes; to remove cysts from your womb or to treat endometriosis – these are covered by most. Sometimes, this is all you need to solve your problem, but for some couples it isn’t.
Some restricted medical aids do pay for fertility treatments up to a certain amount and depending on the plan.
Like many other medical procedures and treatments, the cost of having IVF varies between individual practitioners and centres. There is no consistent fee between every fertility clinic – each set their own fee structure for services provided.
If you are considering having IVF treatments, it would be wise for you to arrange with your medical aid on what they will and won’t cover. Pathology, radiology, hospital and ancillary costs are also important considerations when undergoing fertility treatment, so that you are not faced with a large unexpected bill for services you cannot claim at the end of your treatment.
Where can I find out how much it will cost?
In the interests of transparency, fertility clinics need to state their fees for services very early in the consultation process. Some provide written quotes if the treatment plan is clear, but this isn’t always the case.
Although most clinics have very well-designed and comprehensive internet sites, the information can be confusing, especially to parents who may not understand all of the medical technology or treatment descriptions.
Most practices have nurse co-ordinators and reception staff that are experts in explaining how different treatment components are charged and what percentage of rebates apply. Most clinics have payment/ fee structures, which match specific times in the treatment programme. For example, pre-payments before the cycles begin, at the time of collecting medication to stimulate ovarian follicles, and when the embryo is transferred.
Generally, a couple’s GP will refer them to a particular fertility clinic that the GP practice has had dealings with in the past. Remember, you need to be an active participant in your own care, so don’t be afraid to request a referral to a clinic that you may prefer and which may better suit your individual budget.
Why is it so expensive?
Most fertility clinics provide a range of services, which are ultimately designed to assist in successful conception. These are unique and require significant expertise with medical, nursing, scientific and pathology staff as well as equipment.
Understandably, not all couples will require the full suite of services offered, or need to pay for services their individual situation does not warrant.
Typical services are:
- Ovulation Induction
- Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) with either the partner’s sperm or donor sperm
- In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)
- Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection, also referred to as ICSI
- Hatching of Embryos
- Culture of Blastocyst
- Storage of frozen embryos and then transfer
- Sperm aspiration
- Storage of semen and freezing of sperm tissue
- Biopsy of Embryo and diagnosis of genetic conditions
- Surgical treatment for gynaecological conditions that are impacting on fertility
N.B. The following chart is only an approximate indication of cost. Each fertility clinic outlines its own fee structure and this can vary significantly. Ask for brochures, pamphlets and hard copies of information to take away from your initial consultation. It can be very difficult to remember specific costing without some reminders. The cost involved with creating a successful pregnancy depends upon the nature of the disorder causing the infertility, the age of the female partner, and if a male factor is involved.
|First Consultation:||Around R 2000|
|IUI or AI:||Between R 6000 – 10 000 per cycle|
|IVF:||Between R 45 000-60 000 per cycle|
|ICSI treatment:||Up to R 80 000|
Other Funding Options
First Health Finance Covers Fertility Treatment
Financial strain need not be an added stress during an already daunting process. For peace of mind you can use the easy online application process to enquire about having your fertility treatment covered with competitive and convenient repayment terms from First Health Finance (FHF).
- Confidentiality is assured
- Competitive rates
- Flexible repayment terms
- No down payments
For more information phone 0800 212 537 or visit www.fhf.co.za
Incred Medical Finance
We understand how much an elective medical procedure can change lives for the better but we know that these procedures can be costly and are not always covered by medical aid. That’s why we’re here.
- We Provide medical loans for a variety of medical and cosmetic surgery procedures
- Easy repayment terms with competitive interest rates
- No down payments or early settlement penalties
- Simple, easy to complete application
For more information phone 011 262 2385 or visit www.incred.co.za/
Medifin Financial Services
MediFin´s sole purpose is to assist normal South Africans to proceed with their desired, if not critical, medical procedures sooner rather than later. Since elective surgeries are not covered by medical aid companies, MediFin is here to help. We offer a simple application and approval process, affordable rates and terms, and compassionate customer service. With one simple credit application, you will be on your way towards fulfilling your dreams.
For more information phone 021 555 1477or visit www.medifin.co.za/
Points to Remember
- Before you embark on any fertility treatment, speak with your medical aid about your individual cover. Don’t assume you are insured for extras.
- If you are not a member of a medical scheme, either join, or start saving. The costs can really add up.
- Do your research into what services different clinics provide, what’s included in their standard charges and what’s separate.
- Speak with your friends or others who have undergone fertility treatments. Often the best source of support and insight comes from those who’ve had first-hand experience.