IVF financing: what are your options?

We’re debunking IVF financing. Make an informed decision when it comes to funding your IVF journey.
Amber Izzo tells her personal story – Gaia Blog

If you’re not eligible for IVF on the NHS, you may try to fund IVF yourself. But IVF is expensive. The pressure of finding the money for the rounds you need can be daunting and overwhelming.

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 – of the 250 people we surveyed who self-funded IVF, 78% went into debt.

IVF financing 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? 

IVF financing is a way of paying for rounds of IVF treatment. There are two main types of IVF financing currently available: payment plans and refund packages. 

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. 

IVF refund packages 

Some private fertility clinics now offer ‘refund packages’. These promise to give you some or all of your money back if you don’t have a child. 

How does IVF financing work in real life?

Here's how the different financial options might work for you.

Paying for IVF with a clinic payment plan

These are the steps you will take if you decide to use a clinic payment plan to fund your IVF treatment:

  1. You pay a deposit and the clinic gives you ‘credit’ for their rounds.
  2. Once treatment has started, you start paying back the cost of the ‘credit’ in monthly instalments.
  3. 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

This is what happens if you decide to use a refund package to fund your rounds:

  1. You pay the clinic for all your covered rounds of IVF upfront.
  2. You start having your IVF treatment.
  3. If you have all your covered rounds of IVF but don’t get pregnant, you'll receive a refund for either all or some of what you paid. 
  4. If you do get pregnant, you'd have paid for the full package, regardless of which round you got pregnant and whether or not you have a live birth.

What are the risks of using IVF financing?

Going through IVF can be stressful for everyone involved. Worrying about your finances can add more anxiety to the process. 

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: 

Hidden costs

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 take out your credit card at the clinic. These unexpected add-ons are what make it difficult to know exactly how much IVF actually costs from the outset, so this is certainly something to be aware of. 

Terms and conditions

It’s crucial you know the ins and outs of a refund package policy. Some terms and conditions could mean that you’ll be refunded very little or no money at all if your treatment is unsuccessful.

Honouring your contract

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. 

Interest rates

Some clinics offer 0% interest on payment plans for the first year. But be aware that your interest rate can rise steeply throughout your repayment window. In general, the longer your repayment time, the higher your interest rate will be. 

Defaulting on payment

Missing payments can dramatically reduce your credit score, impacting your ability to receive future credit. You may also lose your ability to apply for repayment plans in the future. 

Another option to explore 

Gaia is the world’s first IVF insurance, remaking the way we make families.

Pay a premium to start each IVF round. Gaia covers your full treatment costs. Pay nothing more if you don't have a child. If you do, pay back treatment costs in monthly instalments. 

How does it work?

  1. We create a personalised insurance plan based on your fertility health information, plus data from one million previous IVF treatments over the past 30 years.
  2. To start each round of treatment you pay us an insurance premium – monthly or in a lump sum, your choice.
  3. 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.
  4. If you have your child, you start paying back the rounds you've done in monthly instalments for up to 8 years.
  5. If you don’t have a child at the end of your insured rounds, you don't have to pay back your treatment costs.
“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

In the words of our Gaia Member, Emily

“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.”
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Have more questions?

As the world's first IVF insurance, we know you might have some more questions. Speak with a member of our Support Team to get all your questions answered.