Affording IVF: 4 key market changes benefiting patients

So much has changed — for the good — in the space of infertility in the past decade. Paying for services is a key issue being addressed.

Discovering one has fertility issues is bad enough. Then one learns the significant costs involved, often $60,000 for in-vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment given it takes an average of 2.7 treatments to get pregnant. According to the CDC, out of the 7.3 million women diagnosed with infertility, over 250,000 assisted reproductive technology (ART) procedures are conducted annually. Yet a recent study shared by RESOLVE suggested greater insurance coverage and reduced costs would increase access and as a result, ARTs. The good news is, change is coming.

Increased corporate fertility benefits

Innovators Carrot and Progyny understand that costs are high and many patients, so desperate for fertility coverage, job hop following the “coverage trail.” They realized if employers where to cover fertility benefits (in many cases, this includes egg freezing), they would increase employee retention. Their hypothesis was validated with companies like Starbucks, Google, and Facebook signing up.

According to patients I’ve spoken with, the Carrot and Progyny teams support both the patients and their employer, where patients face a lifetime cap for services. However, the benefits associated with medication come through the patient’s corporate pharmacy benefit (e.g., Express Scripts).