I have been writing since the recession hit – about the hard economic times that have hit the infertility community and that has only recently begun to lift a tiny bit. But yesterday in the NY Times – the cover story was “Japan Goes From Dynamic to Disheartened” by Martin Fackler. Japan is not so different than the United States. People still have their head down – they are still losing their jobs – and somehow everyone is trying to still have a life. The weddings in Japan may be getting smaller but they are still happening – and people are still wanting to have a family.
Infertility treatment has historically been a pay as you go, and self funded treatment. Patients who did not have the money on hand to pay for their treatment often used credit to finance their dreams of having a child. Now, these couples are facing a situation where credit has dried up – jobs have been lost or wages reduced – and for many of them - they are putting their dreams of a baby on hold. For those patients who are determined to move ahead with their family building plans no matter how difficult it may seem financially for them – this is the time to really look closely at what is available to assist them.
I have talked before about a wonderful book called “Budgeting for Infertility: How to Bring Home a Baby Without Breaking the Bank” by Evelina W. Sterling and Angie Best-Boss. The description of the book on the Amazon site – provides a great description of the contents of the book and if you are struggling with money – and infertility – I suggest that you check it out. Here is a little bit about the book:
“Having a baby can be one of the most wonderful times of your life — but if you need help to conceive, it can swiftly become a staggeringly expensive undertaking. With the average cost of infertility treatments ranging from $35,000 to $85,000 in the United States (most of which is not covered by insurance companies), many women and couples find themselves having to make difficult choices about building their families.
Getting a grip on your finances is one of the few things you can do to regain control of this process. Infertility experts Evelina Weidman Sterling and Angie Best-Boss have created the ultimate guide to ensuring the most cost-effective care with the highest chances for success. With anecdotes, interviews, and advice from both doctors and patients, you can easily apply these specific money-saving strategies to your own unique situation. Learn how to:
- Select a fertility clinic with a high rate of success- Convince your insurance company to cover more of the costs
- Track down the most affordable fertility drugs
- Travel abroad for cheaper care or international surrogacy
- Avoid the scams and unnecessary expenses every step of the way
Personal and professional, Budgeting for Infertility is an invaluable resource that shows you how to pay for infertility treatment…and still have money in the bank for diapers and day care.”
Sounds good to me! This is also a great time to take a look at all of the different ways some of the IVF Center’s around the country are working to help patients finance treatment.
East Coast Fertility where I work as the Director of Public Education – has always worked hard to help patients financially. East Coast fertility has been offering free fertility consultations to individuals and couples, and there are many other discounted packages for couples that need IVF. Consultations with fertility specialists normally range from $250 – $500, depending on the practice. During the consultation, the physician will spend time reviewing the patient’s medical and reproductive history in depth and discussing her reproductive options.I am feeling really good about ECF’s willingness to step up and help patients during these difficult economic times.
I hope that the chain of giving, and supporting patients through these tough economic times continues our medical community.
Bravo to all that are trying to help.