If you’re not eligible for IVF on the NHS, and you’re trying to find a way to fund IVF yourself. You may find the pressure to save the money for the treatments you need daunting when you see how much IVF can cost. IVF is expensive and it’s hard to know how many treatments you might end up needing, and whether you will be able to afford it.
Many people take on second jobs, dip into life savings, or even remortgage their homes, to pay for the rounds of IVF they need to have a child. But with the true cost of IVF being so hard to pin down, it’s easy to get buried in bills.
Financing your IVF is another option. But knowing which type is right for you, and understanding the risks they carry can be tricky.
Here, we take a look at the different financing options available to help you make a more informed decision about how to fund your IVF journey.
What are your IVF financing options?
There are a few ways you can finance your IVF:
IVF payment plans
Payment plans are offered by some private clinics as a form of IVF financing that allows you to spread the cost of your treatment over a set period of time.
There are some third-party financing companies that also offer loans for IVF.
IVF refund packages
Some private fertility clinics now offer ‘refund packages’. These will give you either some or all of your money back if you don’t have a child.
Some third-party financing companies, such as Access Fertility, also offer refund packages but with a fixed lump sum payment upfront of multiple treatment cycles.
The Gaia Plan
A combination of a payment plan and financial protection. You go through all the treatments you need for 20-30% of the cost, and only repay an affordable monthly amount when you have a child. Nothing more if you don’t.
How does IVF financing work in real life?
Paying for IVF with a clinic payment plan
If you decide to use a payment plan to fund your IVF treatment you would:
- Pay a deposit to get ‘credit’ from the clinic (or provider) for a certain number of cycles.
- Once treatment has started, you start paying back the cost of the ‘credit’ in monthly instalments.
- At the end of your contract, you must have paid for all the ‘credit’ you were given, plus any interest, regardless of the outcome.
Paying for IVF with a refund package
If you decide to use a refund package to fund your rounds you would:
- Pay the clinic for all your covered rounds of IVF upfront.
- Start having your IVF treatment.
- If you have all your covered rounds of IVF but don’t have a child, you'll receive a refund for either all or some of what you paid.
- If you do have a child, you'd have paid for the full package, regardless of which round you got pregnant on.
Paying for IVF with a Gaia Plan
We offer a flexible and affordable way to pay for the treatment you need to have a child, with financial protection if you don’t. This is how it works:
- We create a personalised Plan based on your fertility health information, plus data from one million previous IVF treatments over the past 30 years.
- To start each round of treatment you pay us an insurance premium that represents a fraction of the cost of your treatments – monthly or in a lump sum, your choice.
- We fix the cost for your IVF, including medication with unlimited top-ups and all essential procedures, and pay your clinic upfront for each round of treatment.
- If you have your child, you start paying back the rounds you've done in monthly instalments for up to 8 years. You won’t pay for any rounds you haven’t done.
- If you don’t have a child at the end of your insured rounds, you don't have to pay back your treatment costs.
What are the risks of using IVF financing?
IVF financing can help you afford and access IVF treatment. But as with most loans, repayment plans and refund packages do have their downsides. It’s important that you know what you’re signing up for and are aware of any financial risks.
Here are a few things to be aware of before committing to IVF financing:
Some necessary treatments and services, including essential medications, often aren’t included in payment plans and refund packages. So there will be times you’ll have to pay for those yourself, on top of your package. These unexpected costs are what make it difficult to know exactly how much IVF actually costs from the outset. It’s important to understand what’s included and what’s not.
Paying for more than you need
If you’ve signed up for a number of rounds through a refund package and fall pregnant, you’ll still have to pay for the entire package, forfeiting the cost of any remaining rounds.
Some clinics offer 0% interest on payment plans for the first year. But interest rates can rise steeply throughout your repayment window. Make sure you understand how the interest rate will increase if you choose to repay over a longer period of time.
With a Gaia Plan, we do it differently. We fix all costs, including medication, upfront so you know exactly how much you’ll repay via monthly instalments when you have a child. You’ll be insured for up to 6 rounds, however, if you have a child before then, you’ll only repay the costs for the number of rounds that you had. This is IVF done better.
Complete our short questionnaire to find out how much a Gaia Plan could cost you.
“In the same way that you insure your house or your car, it’s security in case you need it and if you don’t need it then it hasn’t cost you the earth.” – Emily, Gaia Member