IVF Costs Explained
In Australia in-vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment remains amongst the most financially accessible in the world due to Government supplementation. This is because;
- There are Medicare rebates
- There is a Medicare Safety Net scheme that provides an additional rebate if you incur significant out of pocket expenses for outpatient services in a calendar year
- A portion of out-of-pocket healthcare expenses over $1,500 may be eligible to claim on your tax return
Perhaps the most helpful way to express costs in terms of affordability is as final out-of-pocket expenses. Many people believe that their out-of-pocket expenses for IVF will be $10,000 or more. However, in spite of some changes to the Medicare arrangements earlier in 2010, the final out-of-pocket cost for a cycle of IVF can be as low as between $2,545 and $3,053 (including Fertility Specialist fees).
If you have eligible private health insurance cover, the costs of any related hospital stays and anaesthetist fees are rebateable. Therefore, depending on private cover there may be no out of pocket costs for these aspects of IVF treatment.
However, this can be a complex area to understand as;
- Approaches to billing differ from clinic to clinic. For example some clinics such as Bubtree and Monash IVF include Fertility Specialist fees in the IVF cycle fees that they charge, whereas in other clinics Fertility Specialists invoice for a number of items separately from the clinic
- Rebates following treatment come from more than one source
- People have varying levels of private health coverage for related hospital stays
- For egg collection procedures the anaethetist and hospital generally bill separately from the fertility clinic and specialist
- Fees are higher if additional treatments are performed in conjunction with IVF such as intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)
- Clinics are aware that treatment costs are an important component of how people choose which clinic to go to for treatment, and so frequently advertize differing price structures (offers). A good understanding of what these different price structures mean in terms of your final out-of-pocket costs requires lots of homework in order to make meaningful comparisons with alternative clinic(s). For example, these offers often do not include fertility specialist or other fees such as registration fees
- Offers of no up-front payment for treatment usually mean simply deferring payment for a very short period of time, and the most important factor will remain your final out-of-pocket expense
Because of this it is important for you to get an individual quote from your own clinic taking into account your personal set of circumstances. In addition, it is important to clarify at the outset if Fertility Specialist fees are included in clinic price(s) quoted, and if not what all of those fees will be as there are a number of billable items.
Given that this is such a complex area we have devoted a number of web pages to explaining important areas, and a link to current Monash IVF costs. These sources of information can be accessed through the menu on the right side of this page.