Egg freezing can take a significant emotional, mental, and financial toll — one of the reasons being that it’s not typically covered by insurance. This is because egg freezing is generally not considered a "medical necessity," even though we know that female fertility declines with age.
For women looking to preserve their fertility, insurance coverage varies from plan to plan. Similar to IVF, the only benefits offered for egg freezing are available through employer-sponsored healthcare plans, which is entirely up to the employer to decide.
Interestingly enough, according to NPR, technology companies are more likely to cover fertility services than other firms. 45% of technology companies cover IVF and 27% cover other advanced reproductive procedures, such as egg freezing, compared to 26% and 14% of companies not in the technology sector. 20% of large companies (over 20K employees) also cover egg freezing, as well as this list of organizations that tout generous fertility benefits.
Does insurance cover egg freezing?
Some insurers may also cover certain parts of the procedure and not others. For example, certain private insurers will cover the cost of egg-freezing medication, but not the treatment or storage.
If you’re interested in freezing your eggs, talk to your insurance provider first to discover which parts of the process may be covered. Keep in mind that insurance coverage and state policies change over time, so it’s important to keep up to date with your providers.
The only potential exception is if you have to undergo a life-saving medical treatment such as chemotherapy that renders you infertile. In this case, some individual health plans may cover the cost of egg freezing.
Do state policies cover egg freezing?
19 states currently require insurance companies to provide coverage for infertility treatments, but that doesn’t mean it’s free. You’re still responsible for co-pays if you have private insurance and you have to meet infertility criteria to qualify.
Infertility criteria mean:
You've been unable to conceive after one year of timed, unprotected sex if you’re under 35 (6 months if you’re over 35).
You’ve been unable to carry a pregnancy resulting in live birth after a year.
Keep in mind, there are also nuances in each state’s policy, so we recommend doing a deep dive into your state’s policy.
How much does it cost to freeze your eggs?
The cost of retrieving and freezing eggs will vary based on the clinic you choose, where you live, and any additional services or procedures involved.
In general, an egg-freezing patient will spend anywhere from $20,000 - $40,000 on treatment and storage. This is because the cost of one cycle can range from $9,000 to $17,000, and the average woman undergoes two full cycles.
Here is a quick-and-dirty breakdown of the process:
General procedure (monitoring, egg retrieval, anesthesia): $6,000-$10,000
Medication to stimulate egg production (this will vary based on how much the patient needs and may be covered by some insurers): $3,000-$6,000
Storage fees: $700-$1,000 per year
Other factors such as donor sperm, embryo creation, and IVF after egg freezing can drive these prices up even more, which is why you'll want to find out exactly what's covered (and what's not) before moving forward.
10 questions to ask your insurance company about egg freezing:
1. Which procedures, tests, and services do my benefits cover? See a comprehensive list here. If yes, how many cycles are covered?
2. What are my benefits, co-pay/co-insurance, and deductibles for fertility treatment?
3. Once I’ve met my deductible, what % of treatment is my responsibility?
4. What are my yearly dollar maximums, maximum number of treatment attempts, and lifetime dollar maximums?
5. Will my coverage be based on the allowable amount or the actual billed amount?
6. Does my plan have out-of-network benefits? If so, what is my reimbursement percentage?
7. Are there any exclusions to treatment or requirements that must be met before my fertility benefits become effective (eg, a certain number of IUIs before IVF can be attempted)?
8. Are there any restrictions on which clinics or doctors I can use?
9. Are there age limits?
10. Can you offer me physician, clinic profiles, or other sources of comparative data as I choose a covered provider?
Egg freezing can be a complicated, confusing, and incredibly empowering process — which is why Rescripted exists to support all women throughout their reproductive journeys. Join our 9MM-strong community of other women who have been there, and done that to continue learning.
Caroline McMorrow is Rescripted's Content Manager.