Egg freezing can be a financial stressor to say the least, especially since it’s usually not covered by insurance unless it’s offered through your employer or you were given a medical diagnosis, such as cancer, that renders you infertile.
Ideally, this will change in the near future as more women are turning to egg freezing to preserve their fertility while they look for the right partner, invest in their career, or simply wait to have kids.
The total cost of freezing your eggs can range anywhere from $20,000 to $40,000 when you add up all the total costs, including upfront consultations, multiple cycles of egg retrieval, medication, storage fees, lab work, and more.
Don’t jump to worst-case scenario thinking quite yet though — we've got you. There are steps you can take to afford egg freezing to eventually have the family you’ve been envisioning.
First, talk to your insurer about egg-freezing coverage.
Before you jump into the action items we've outlined below, talk to your insurer. Even if they don’t cover the entire egg-freezing process, they may cover certain items such as consultations or initial blood tests.
Also know that as of June 2022, these 20 states have mandates that require health insurance companies to provide some type of coverage for infertility. If you have an infertility diagnosis and live in one of these locations, this may support you in your egg-freezing journey.
Here are some basic questions to ask your insurance company upfront to know what you have working in your corner:
Which visits, procedures, tests, and services do my benefits cover if any at all? Are ongoing costs like storage or routine follow-ups covered?
If my current plan does not cover treatment, is there another health plan available that provides egg-freezing benefits?
If I meet with multiple facilities before making a finite decision, will all of those consultations be covered?
Do I need infertility or another qualifying diagnosis to have any portion of my egg-freezing process covered? Do I need a referral from my GP?
Does my insurance coverage change depending on whether the retrieval was successful or not?
Is there a maximum annual or lifetime financial spend limit for egg-freezing treatments and procedures?
Is there an age limit for coverage?
More details here from Southern California Reproductive Center about questions you should be prepared to ask regarding infertility insurance coverage in general. These can be applied to egg freezing as well.
Paying for egg freezing: What are your options?
1. Clinic financing
Depending on the fertility clinic you go to, they may offer payment plans or financial counseling that help you afford the cost of egg freezing, and sometimes with no interest.
Spring Fertility, for example, has an amazing payment plan that asks for no down payment, zero interest, and your money back to patients who freeze 20 eggs before age 35 or 30 eggs at ages 35-37, and cannot achieve a successful pregnancy when they return to use them.
Some clinics, such as Kindbody, may offer discounts on egg freezing packages at certain times of the year so if you’re interested in getting a discounted rate, it’s always worth asking upfront. If the timing works out, you can always wait to start your process until the discount period begins.
2. Personal loans
Borrowing is one of the most common ways to pay for fertility treatment, given most people don’t have months in advance to start saving before they realize they need to undergo the procedure.
Loans from companies that specialize in fertility financing are usually your best bet over credit cards because their APR is lower (most credit cards have an avg. APR of 16%). They’re more convenient and personalized, given they’re specifically designed for fertility procedures.
The difference is these fertility loan providers partner directly with fertility clinics to offer upfront pricing and streamlined packages. They handle sending payments on your behalf to the lab, clinic, storage facility, and pharmacies, then you'll pay it back in monthly installments over a period of time.
Below are some of our top picks for fertility loan providers:
More from Resolve here.
Here are a few things to consider when taking out a loan:
Loan amount: are you financing part or all of your egg-freezing expenses?
Loan terms: length of time you have to repay the loan and how much you’ll pay on a monthly cadence
Interest rates: usually a yearly % charged by the lender for borrowing money
Loan fees: additional charges associated with taking out a loan including origination fees, application fees, late-payment fees, and prepayment penalties
Repayment options: the ways in which you can pay back the loan, including monthly payments, lump sum payments, or a combination of both
Loan security: the collateral you provide to secure the loan, such as your car or home (ie, if you fail to repay the loan, the lender may take possession of the collateral)
If your company offers an insurance plan with a health savings account (HSA), consider switching to that or adding it as a supplement to your PPO (if available based on your plan).
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The money you put into an HSA is tax-free, meaning you can both save and withdraw it tax-free as long as you spend the money on qualified medical expenses (which egg freezing falls under). This can lower the total cost of your egg-freezing procedures by 20% or 25%, depending on your tax bracket.
If you don’t have an HSA accessible to you through an employer, we recommend Lively (one of the top-rated HSA providers) or putting as much money away in a dedicated savings account as possible in the months leading up to your egg freezing. Any down payment you can make at the time of the procedure will lower subsequent bills.
4. Talk to your employer
Just because your employer doesn’t cover egg freezing today doesn’t mean they can’t or won't. Keep in mind that 1 in 5 American women of reproductive age struggles to get pregnant within a year of trying (CDC), so talking to your HR team about your situation may actually help one of your colleagues as much as it helps you.
Juli Insinger, Co-Founder of Carrot, a startup that manages fertility coverage for over 800 employers, says it’s not uncommon for her team to be introduced to a company’s HR team by an employee that’s hoping to get coverage at work.
5. Other options
The Freeze by Co Split program at Cofertility allows you to freeze and store your eggs entirely for free (yes, you read that correctly) for 10 years when you give half to a family who can't otherwise conceive.
Remember: Egg freezing can be an important investment in your future, and there are options out there to help you pay for it. You just need to know where to look!
Caroline McMorrow is a Content Strategist at Rescripted.