How to Financially Prepare to Freeze Your Eggs

Freezing your eggs is expensive—but it's an investment that can give you time and preserve your fertility. Here's what you need to know about affording treatment, according to experts.

The journey to parenthood is different for everyone. For some, the option of freezing eggs for future conception is the best option that comes with some benefits, such as giving someone time to make living arrangements, from career changes to buying a house or finding a partner to raise a child with.

As expensive as freezing eggs may be, by doing it early, you might actually save a lot of fo money down the line. A cost analysis study published in Fertility and Sterility found that of about 9,000 people who had their embryos genetically tested found that participants who were 35 or younger at the time of their egg retrieval had a much higher percentage of viable embryos—72%, compared to 46% of viable embryos for those who were 38 to 40 years old when their eggs were retrieved.

If you're considering freezing your eggs to help your future chances of conceiving a child, you might have some practical questions about how much it costs and how to financially prepare for the expensive process. If you have consulted medical professionals, researched clinics, and decided that egg freezing is for you, here are tips on preparing financially to make this investment.

How Much Does It Cost to Freeze Eggs?

Since the average cost of one cycle of IVF is about $15,000 to $30,000 depending on where you receive services and what your medical history is, if you wait until you're older to retrieve your eggs instead of using the eggs you froze when you were younger, you might have to go through multiple cycles of IVF to get good quality eggs.

The average cost of IVF using frozen eggs is $6,400. "If you run the numbers of the cost of egg freezing against having to do an egg retrieval cycle when you're older, you'll find that you're likely to save money and get pregnant faster by paying for an egg-freezing cycle now," says O'Neill, who co-founded FertilitySpace, a platform that helps people find fertility providers.

That's not to say freezing your eggs isn't an investment—the average cost of freezing your eggs can range from $15,000 to $30,000 (including treatment, medications, and storage) per cycle, according to FertilityIQ. On average, people choose to undergo two cycles, and the annual cost to store your eggs can be between $350 to $1,000, depending on the facility. O'Neill suggests moving your eggs to a long-term facility if you know you won't use them for a while, as these have lower annual fees and might even give you a discount if you pay for multiple years at once.

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Check Your Insurance Plan

Talk to your insurance provider to see if they cover egg freezing. Coverage for fertility treatment has a lot to do with location—so far, only 20 states require private insurance companies to cover fertility treatments in some form. Peter Nieves, Chief Commercial Officer at WINFertility, a company that helps employers and insurance providers with fertility management benefits, recommends checking with your insurance plan to see if you are eligible to have egg freezing covered based on your current health; many health plans cover egg freezing if it is medically necessary, but few cover it if it's elective.

"Always check with your insurance company to see if they have coverage for IVF-related procedures and if that includes egg freezing, even if you think they don't," says Ashleigh Marie Brown, founder of CLAIRE Fertility, a wellness platform for people navigating reproductive challenges.

If you are married or in a relationship, O'Neill recommends you check to see if your partner's insurance plan covers egg freezing. If you're eligible to be claimed as a spouse or domestic partner on their insurance, that's another way you can have the procedure covered.

Talk to Your Employer About Fertility Benefits

Check to see if your company is offering any fertility benefits. "Right now, only 30 companies in the Fortune 500 cover egg freezing (Alphabet, Facebook, Microsoft, etc.), but fertility help is one of the most common perks that is being added by employers," says Eryn Schultz, founder of financial education site Her Personal Finance. Having your company cover the cost of egg freezing can make it much more affordable—Schultz says some insurance plans cover 90% of the costs or a flat fee.

If your health plan allows you to pay for egg freezing through your HSA or FSA accounts, loading them up with pre-tax dollars can be a great way to help cover the cost if you don't have coverage through your insurance.

Open a Separate Savings Account for Egg Freezing

If egg freezing is a priority for you, work towards it like any other financial goal. Find the best fertility clinics near you, see their costs in advance, and start saving. Opening a separate account for egg freezing can also help you track your savings better. "If you can afford it, set up a monthly transfer to a high-yield savings account to help you save for this goal," says Schultz.

Find a Clinic That Offers a Payment Plan

When you're researching clinics, talk to them to see if they offer payment plans for treatment. Some clinics offer financing options and even financial counselors to help you navigate the costs of treatments like egg freezing and IVF. For example, Fertility Finance, a company that provides loans for fertility treatments, is partnered with Shady Grove Fertility clinic. Another financing option is to use a credit card. "I've had many clients charge it on a high-limit card, so they're able to get rewards as they pay it down, as well," says Marie Brown.

Some clinics offer egg-sharing programs where you can freeze your eggs for free if you donate a portion of them to someone who cannot use their own eggs for IVF. Keep in mind that if you're looking into this option, you will have to pass FDA testing and medical requirements to be an eligible donor and may have to go through multiple cycles of egg retrieval depending on the policies of the clinic offering this program.

Look for Discounts on Fertility Medication

Fertility medicine is expensive. Luckily, there are programs out there that offer discounts; biopharmaceutical company EMD Serono, for example, has a Compassionate Care program that offers patients income-based discounts. They also have a rebate program that reimburses 10% of the cost of some medications. "Fertility medications are fairly expensive, being about $3-7k for an egg freezing cycle, so a 10% discount on certain prescriptions could end up saving you hundreds of dollars," says O'Neill. If you don't have insurance coverage, make sure you research different specialty pharmacies to see where you can get the best out-of-pocket prices on medication.

Freezing your eggs is definitely an investment—but one that can give you the time to focus on other areas of your life without sacrificing your dream of starting a family one day. Take your time researching all the options—medical and financial—to make the right choice for you.

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