Counting Your Costs
Fertility testing can be expensive, particularly if the root cause of your fertility problems doesn't become immediately apparent, and you therefore need a lot of different tests done. Before you begin the testing process, you may want to make a budget for fertility testing, and have a rough idea of what you expect to spend.
But how do you do this? Fertility clinics offer different rates, therefore choosing the most cost-effective for you can be a little difficult. There are also some "hidden" costs that people often don't consider when drawing up a fertility testing spending plan, such as the cost of travel to and from the clinic.
Here are some budgeting guidelines to help you:
When looking at the prices of fertility tests in different clinics, there are two main criteria in which you should be interested. 1) The price of the tests (obviously) and 2) the clinic's success rates in helping its patients get to pregnant. Any trustworthy clinic should be able to provide you will full information on both these points.
Most clinics will also have a brochure of price lists which you can take away with you or have delivered to your home by mail. Always take the brochure. Never rely on your memory to calculate prices you've been told verbally by a staff member. Never allow yourself to be pressured into booking an appointment before you've seen a clinic's literature and price list.
The kinds of discounts a clinic may provide include price reductions for actively serving military personnel, as well as testing "packages." These are bunches of tests bought together in a group, at a cheaper total price than for each of the individual tests in the bunch bought separately. This may seem to be a great idea at first glance, but remember to consider the contents of each package carefully. What is the likelihood you will actually need all those tests? For example, if you already know that your fertility problems are female factor only, then does it make sense to buy a testing package that includes a semen analysis? (Of course, there's always a chance that it does make sense, because the female fertility tests in the package still work out cheaper than they otherwise would).
Does your medical insurance cover fertility testing? A lot of policies don't cover fertility, but those that do often provide coverage for the fertility testing process, although not fertility treatment. Check out your policy details if you don't already know them. You could save a lot of money. On the other hand, don't assume that your policy covers you for all tests simply because it has a fertility coverage clause - always read the small print.
There are specialized moneylenders out there who provide loans to couples going through fertility testing and treatment. Remember to check out the credentials of such loan providers and don't agree to anything until the company has sent you its literature and you've read it thoroughly. It's worthwhile to compare interest rates between different companies.
You may assume you're going to save money by visiting a cheaper fertility clinic for tests, but is it further from your home than the local, slightly more expensive clinic? Will you have to use public transport or travel by car? How much gasoline will you purchase? Will you miss time off work because you're travelling back and forth? All these questions should be considered.
Setting The Budget
In short, creating a fertility testing budget takes some patience and a thorough approach. You should always put aside an emergency fund for unforeseen expenses.