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Navigating Insurance Coverage for Fertility Treatment: A Comprehensive Guide

Affording Care

Navigating Insurance Coverage for Fertility Treatment: A Comprehensive Guide

Infertility can be a daunting journey, not just emotionally but also financially. Understanding how to navigate insurance coverage for fertility treatments is essential for managing costs and ensuring you receive the care you need.

Understanding Insurance Coverage for Fertility Treatment

A couple using their computer at a kitchen table.

Navigating insurance for fertility treatment involves understanding what your policy covers and the extent of that coverage.Insurance policies can vary significantly when it comes to fertility treatments, with some offering comprehensive coverage and others providing minimal benefits. You can start your journey with all the information you need about finances with just a little bit of homework.

Review Your Policy: Start by reviewing your insurance policy documents. Look for sections related to fertility treatment or reproductive health. Pay attention to the language used, as terms like“medically necessary” can affect coverage.

Contact Your Insurance Provider: Speak directly with your insurance provider. Ask for detailed information about what is covered under your plan, including diagnostic tests, treatments like IVF (in vitro fertilization), medications, and any specific conditions or limitations.

Understand the Costs: Ask about copayments, deductibles, and out-of-pocket maximums. Some policies can have a lifetime maximum for fertility treatments. Knowing these details can help you plan financially and avoid unexpected expenses.

Get Pre-Authorization: Many insurance companies require pre-authorization for fertility treatments. The lead time for most insurance companies for prior authorization requests is approximately 15 days. Ensure you get this approval before starting any treatment to avoid denial of claims. It’s important to note that prior authorization does not guarantee payment or denial of claims.

Keep Detailed Records: Maintain records of all communications with your insurance provider, including dates, names of representatives, and details of what was discussed. Most insurance representatives can provide a reference number as well as their name. This can be invaluable if you need to dispute a claim.

At Advanced Fertility Care, we accept most major commercial insurance.

Top Fertility Benefit Providers

Several companies specialize in providing fertility benefits as part of employee health plans. These providers can offer comprehensive coverage and support services that make navigating fertility treatment easier. AtAFC, we accept coverage through:

Progyny: Progyny is known for its all-encompassing fertility benefits that include coverage for IVF, egg freezing, genetic testing, and more. They also offer personalized support from fertility specialists.

Carrot Fertility: Carrot provides customizable fertility discounts tailored to the needs of each employer. Their coverage can include fertility treatments, egg and sperm freezing, adoption, and surrogacy services.

Maven Clinic: Maven offers a holistic approach to fertility care with access to virtual clinics, specialist consultations, and comprehensive support services.

Key Questions to Ask Your Insurance Provider About Fertility Treatment

A man using his laptop while talking on his phone.

When seeking fertility treatment, it’s crucial to ask the right questions to your insurance provider. Here are some key questions and tips:

What Fertility Treatments Are Covered?

Does my policy cover diagnostic tests, medications, and treatments such as intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF)? Try to be specific when asking about each typeof treatment to get clear answers.

Are There Any Exclusions or Limitations?

Are there any specific exclusions, such as pre-existing conditions, age limits, or number of treatment cycles? Understand any restrictions that might affect your coverage.

Remember to be honest and upfront about the reason you are pursuing infertility treatment (i.e. elective sterilization or family balancing), as this can affect your coverage.

What Are the Out-of-Pocket Costs?

What are my copayments, deductibles, and maximum out-of-pocket expenses for fertility treatments? Calculate your potential costs to budget effectively.

Is a Referral or Pre-Authorization Required?

Do I need a referral or pre-authorization for fertility treatments, and what is the process to obtain it? Start the pre-authorization process early to avoid delays in your treatment, as the process can take up to15 business days to complete.

Are Medications Covered?

Does my insurance cover fertility medications, and are there preferred pharmacies I need to use? Confirm medication coverage to prevent high out-of-pocket costs.

Is Genetic Testing Covered?

Does my policy cover genetic testing and screening as part of fertility treatment? Ask about coverage for PGT (preimplantation genetic testing) and other genetic services.

Financing Fertility Treatment Through Third-Party Providers

A pregnant person laying on a couch looking at a printed ultrasound

If your insurance does not fully cover fertility treatments or if you need additional financial support, consider financing through third-party providers. 

Fertility Loans: Third-party financing providers offer loans specifically for fertility treatments. These loans can cover costs like IVF, medications, and related expenses. AFC has partnerships with reputable financing providers to help finance your care.

Grants and Scholarships: Various organizations offer grants and scholarships for fertility treatments. For example, the Cade Foundation provides financial assistance to families pursuing fertility treatment or adoption.

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) and Health SavingsAccounts (HSAs): FSAs and HSAs allow you to use pre-tax dollars for medical expenses, including fertility treatments. Check if your employer offers these accounts and how you can use them for fertility-related costs.

What Treatments Do Insurance Companies Cover?

The coverage provided by insurance policies can also vary widely. Understanding which treatments might be covered under your plan is crucial for financial planning and ensuring you receive the necessary care.

Diagnostic Tests

Diagnostic tests are the first step in identifying fertility issues. These tests help determine the cause of infertility and guide treatment decisions. Insurance coverage for diagnostic tests and evaluation is often more common than for treatment itself. Common diagnostic tests include:

  • Blood Tests: To check hormone levels and ovarian reserve.
  • Ultrasounds: To examine reproductive organs.
  • Hysterosalpingography (HSG): An X-ray procedure to check the fallopian tubes and uterus.
  • Semen Analysis: To evaluate male fertility.


Fertility medications are often used to stimulate ovulation or prepare the body for treatment. Insurance coverage for medications can vary, so it’s important to verify what your policy includes. Common medications include:

  • Clomiphene citrate (Clomid) and letrozole: Stimulate ovulation.
  • Gonadotropins: Injectable hormones to stimulate the ovaries.
  • Metformin: Used for women with insulin resistance or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
  • Progesterone: Supports the uterine lining and early pregnancy.

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)

Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a less invasive fertility treatment that involves placing sperm directly into the uterus around the time of ovulation. Insurance coverage for IUI varies, with some policies covering multiple cycles while others may limit the number of attempts.

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

A couple happily hugging while looking at a pregnancy test

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is one of the most well-known and common fertility treatments. IVF involves retrieving eggs from the ovaries, fertilizing them with sperm in a lab, and transferring the resulting embryos into the uterus.Coverage for IVF can be limited, with many policies covering only a certain number of cycles or specific parts of the process (e.g., egg retrieval, embryo transfer). Key components of IVF that may or may not be covered include:

  • Egg Retrieval: The surgical procedure to collect eggs from the ovaries.
  • Specimen Storage and Cryopreservation
  • Fertilization and Culture: The lab process of fertilizing eggs and growing embryos.
  • Embryo Transfer: Placing the embryo into the uterus.
  • Cryopreservation: Freezing of embryos for future use.
  • Preimplantation Genetic Testing (PGT): Screening embryos for genetic conditions before transfer.

Egg Freezing and Sperm Freezing

Cryopreservation of eggs and sperm is a fertility preservation method often used by individuals who want to delay childbearing or who are undergoing medical treatments that may affect fertility (e.g., chemotherapy). Insurance coverage for egg and sperm freezing is becoming more common but is still not universally available.

Donor Services

Donor eggs, donor sperm, and donor embryo scan be an option for individuals or couples facing significant fertility challenges. Insurance coverage for donor services varies, with some policies covering donor materials and related procedures, while others may not. Components that might be covered include:

  • Donor Screening: Medical and psychological evaluation of donors.
  • Egg or Sperm Retrieval: Procedures to collect donor eggs or sperm.
  • Embryo Transfer: Using donor embryos for IVF.

Gestational Surrogacy

Gestational surrogacy involves a surrogate carrying a pregnancy for intended parents. Insurance coverage for surrogacy is rare and often excludes many associated costs.However, some policies might cover certain medical aspects of the process, such as embryo transfer to the surrogate.

Genetic Testing and Screening

A couple with a baby sit at a table with a laptop looking over papers together

Genetic testing can be part of the fertility treatment process, particularly for those with known genetic conditions or recurrent pregnancy loss. Insurance may cover tests like:

  • Carrier Screening: To identify if parents carry genes for genetic disorders.
  • Preimplantation Genetic Testing (PGT): To test embryos for specific genetic conditions before implantation.

Navigating insurance coverage for fertility treatment can be complex, but with the right information and resources, you can make informed decisions about your care. Start by thoroughly reviewing your insurance policy, asking detailed questions, and exploring additional financing options.

When you become a patient with AFC, our team will contact your insurance company to verify your benefits. However, it’s important for anyone starting treatment to become familiar with their coverage and other details so that you can plan ahead financially. We’re here to support you every step of the way to ensure you have the information and assistance you need to achieve your family-building goals. Reach out to us today!

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