In today’s world, advancements in reproductive medicine have made it easier for women to take control of their reproductive health and achieve fertility goals on their own terms.
One popular method of fertility preservation is egg freezing, which allows women to freeze their eggs at their current quality for future use.
However, this procedure can come with a hefty price tag, leaving many to wonder, does insurance cover freezing eggs? Unfortunately, the answer is not always a straightforward yes.
This article explores the various options women have for covering the cost of egg freezing with insurance, including financial assistance programs that may help cover costs.
Does Insurance cover Freezing Eggs?
Fertility advocates around the world have long been working on expanding insurance coverage for fertility treatments for both elective and medical reasons. The degree of coverage available to individuals seeking such treatments depends on several factors, including their geographic location, employer, and chosen insurance plan.
Some plans cover egg freezing when it is done for medical reasons, such as prior to cancer treatments. The federal Access to Infertility Treatment and Care Act was introduced in May 2018 to mandate insurance coverage for fertility preservation, including egg freezing, for patients undergoing medically necessary procedures.
As of June 2022, 20 states have passed fertility insurance coverage laws, but only 12 of those states have laws for fertility preservation, which includes medically-induced infertility. In the 20 states with laws requiring insurance coverage for fertility treatment, insurance can help cover some of the cost, but depending on the plan, there may still be deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses.
Unfortunately, many Americans still lack coverage for costly elective fertility treatments, with egg freezing being a prime example. Some insurance providers may cover certain parts of the process, such as a physician consultation, ultrasounds, bloodwork, and ovarian reserve testing.
However, in other cases, insurance plans may not cover even basic fertility testing.
As such, patients may find themselves having to navigate a complicated and costly healthcare system that offers limited coverage for fertility treatments, leading to significant financial stress and emotional burden.
Overall, while the question of does insurance cover freezing eggs can be complicated, it’s always best to review the details of any insurance policy and state laws.
What Insurance covers Egg Freezing?
Many are curious about what insurance covers egg freezing, especially since the procedure can be expensive. However, the answer to this question is more complex than it may seem, as the coverage for fertility treatments can vary greatly among different types of insurance plans.
Public insurance includes governmental programs like Medicare, Medicaid, the Veterans Administration, and TriCare, which have specific eligibility criteria and coverage limitations.
On the other hand, private insurance options fall under categories like:
- Commercial insurance companies such as Cigna, Aetna, and United
- Non-profit insurance companies like Blue Cross/Blue Shield plans
- Self-insuring groups, such as employers who pay benefit claims directly
While some plans may cover egg freezing, others might not even include basic fertility testing. In addition, some of the biggest employers in the country, such as Google, Facebook, and Apple, now offer egg freezing as a company benefit.
It’s essential to explore what insurance covers egg-freezing options in a specific area, an employer’s benefits package, and local laws that might impact coverage to make informed decisions about an individual’s fertility preservation journey.
Even with insurance or workplace benefits, however, egg freezing can still be expensive, and women may still face some out-of-pocket costs.
In this case, women may consider opening a health savings account (HSA) to save on medical expenses. The money put into an HSA is tax-free and can be withdrawn tax-free if it is spent on qualified medical expenses.
By switching to an insurance plan with an HSA, women can lower the total cost of their fertility treatments by 20% or 25%, depending on their tax bracket.
Does Insurance cover Egg Retrieval?
As more women consider fertility preservation options, such as egg freezing, one of the most pressing questions is: does insurance cover egg retrieval?
While the answer varies depending on the insurer and policy, it’s essential to understand the costs associated with the process.
Typically, there are three phases of costs involved in the egg-freezing process:
- Consultation, medication, and egg retrieval
- Storage of the eggs until use
- IVF – the transfer of the eggs to attempt pregnancy
While commercial and non-profit insurance providers may cover some basic blood work, egg retrieval and the cost to store the eggs after they’ve been frozen may require women to pay out of pocket. It’s essential to check with the insurer to see if they cover IVF-related procedures and if that includes egg freezing.
It’s also important to note that every insurance carrier offers a variety of policies that may or may not cover IVF treatment and fertility-related procedures. Therefore, women must research the specific costs of each phase and what the insurance may or may not cover.
How much is it to Freeze your Eggs with Insurance?
Egg freezing is a popular fertility preservation technique among women who wish to delay having children for various reasons, such as pursuing a career or undergoing medical treatments.
However, the cost of egg freezing can be a significant concern for many individuals.
According to egg freezing statistics, the cost can range from $4,000 to $7,000 per cycle, and it usually takes two rounds to reach the optimum number of 15-20 eggs.
The good news is that some larger company health insurance programs cover fertility benefits, including egg freezing. Moreover, as mentioned previously, 20 states in the US require certain group health insurance plans to offer some fertility treatments.
However, coverage is often limited, and lifetime maximums range from $15,000 to $100,000.
Another challenge is that many insurance companies only cover IVF treatments for women who have demonstrated fertility problems. As a result, some groups, such as LGBTQ couples and women who electively choose to freeze their eggs for the possibility of using them in the future, may not have access to coverage.
Given these challenges, it’s crucial to check with the insurance provider and understand the limitations and costs of egg freezing under a specific policy. To get a clearer picture of the costs involved in egg freezing, it’s worth considering reaching out to infertility and egg freezing companies, as they can provide more detailed information on pricing plans and payment options.
So, how much is it to freeze your eggs with insurance? The answer isn’t always clear, but understanding the options available can help women make informed decisions about their fertility journey.
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Does Medicaid cover Egg Freezing?
According to a Kaiser Family Foundation report, as of January 2020, no state Medicaid program covers cryopreservation – also known as egg freezing.
Although at present, Medicaid does not provide coverage for egg freezing, as the technology continues to gain popularity, it may change in the future. It’s worth noting that some state Medicaid programs do cover In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) treatments, which may include the costs associated with egg freezing.
The discrepancy in Medicaid coverage for fertility treatments compared to maternity care and family planning services is striking. Medicaid is responsible for financing almost half of all births in the United States, and the majority of publicly-funded family support services.
While low-income individuals and parents have broad access to many services during and to prevent pregnancy, they face significant barriers in accessing services to assist them in achieving pregnancy. This lack of coverage for fertility services represents a substantial gap in the overall reproductive health services available to low-income individuals.
For women considering egg freezing as an option, it’s recommended to check with their specific Medicaid provider to see if IVF and related procedures, including egg freezing, are covered under their plan.
On a Final Note
In conclusion, the answer to does insurance cover freezing eggs is complicated. While some insurance policies may cover fertility preservation procedures, many exclude coverage for elective egg freezing.
However, the landscape is evolving, and some insurance plans now offer coverage for egg freezing as a preventative measure for specific medical conditions. Additionally, some employers may provide fertility benefits that cover the cost of egg freezing.
- The Access to Infertility Treatment and Care Act, S. 2352 and H.R. 4450 (Resolve)
- Insurance Coverage by State (Resolve)
- Apple and Facebook offer to freeze eggs for female employees (Guardian)
- Freezing Your Eggs Can Cost up to $15,000. Here Are Strategies to Help Pay for It (Money)
- Coverage and Use of Fertility Services in the U.S. (KFF)