The world is full of uncertainty at the moment, with millions of people worldwide affected by job cuts and financial devastation due to the coronavirus
For those either having, or planning fertility treatment, life feels even more uncertain, by receiving the heartbreaking news that fertility treatment has been put on hold whilst the world tries to get a grip on the virus.
As devastating as this is to those desperately trying to become parents, it does not mean that your dreams of parenthood are over. We want to use this time to help you think strategically about the future and to look at the different options available to you, of eventually affording treatment.
We are all in ‘survival mode right now’, and have been forced to change our priorities
Many have lost work because of this current pandemic and are having to use money that may have been saved for IVF, to pay rent or a mortgage. This is only short term – jobs will return and life will eventually resume back to ‘normal’.
While you ‘self isolate’, we are here to help you research options for your future fertility treatment and here we speak to Dimitris Kavakas from Redia with some key questions about funding IVF
Perhaps when you get back on your feet financially, this is something that could be an option for you – an IVF multi cycle refund program which are offered at some clinics in India
Q: Dimitris, before we start talking about spending money on multiple cycles, can we ask how likely is it that a first round of IVF will work?
Although clinics publish success rates, these are average statistics. One needs to study the individual case to come up with personalised chances of success.
On average though, it may take three cycles of IVF to achieve success, and by ‘success’ we mean a live birth. Obviously, there are those who need more than that and there are the lucky ones that need less.
Q: How much on average is it to have a round of IVF around the world?
It is important to realise that when a clinic gives you the cost of a round of IVF, they are referring to the basic cost of the IVF stimulation, egg collection and embryo transfer. Clinics may sometimes give you the basic price, to make it sound more appealing.
There are added costs associated with an IVF cycle, such as medication, monitoring (blood tests and scans), freezing (sperm freezing, egg freezing or embryo freezing), subsequent embryo transfer, ICSI, blastocyst culture, time lapse incubator and other lab methods (assisted hatching, embryo glue PGS or PGT-A testing etc).
South Africa is also a popular destination for IVF and because of the devaluation of its local currency, it offers competitive prices while the quality of clinics is very high.
An average IVF cycle would cost the equivalent of £3,000 with medication costs slightly cheaper than in the UK. South Africa is also popular for Egg Donor IVF with competitive costs similar to the European prices.
In India there are clinics offering “refund schemes” that if the IVF fails you receive more cycles and/or receive a refund.
One cycle of IVF (ICSI) in India can range anywhere between 145,890 to 292,000 Indian Rupees (£1500 to £3000) with no benchmark or regulation for the price. Every clinic has a different price point for a cycle and the benefit they offer in that price.
In Asia, IVF destinations include India with an average IVF cycle cost of £3,500-£4,500, Thailand with an average cost of £3,500 and Malaysia with an average cost of £5,000-£6,000.
In the UK, a single cycle of IVF, without any associated costs, would be between £4,000 to £6,000 depending on the clinic. The cost of medication would vary between £1000 and £1500 and other costs related to the cycle can accumulate to £2,000 (ICSI, blastocyst culture, freezing costs etc.).
The cost of IVF in the USA would be the most expensive internationally. The average cycle cost would be around $12,000 and medication costs would be around $7,000. So, all together a cycle with medication would vary between $15,000 to $25,000. Egg Donation IVF costs are even more expensive as the cost of donors in the US vary from $10,000 to $20,000 which is added to the cycle costs.
In Europe, countries that are considered destinations for IVF include Spain, Greece, Czech Republic and Ukraine. The cost of a cycle varies from 4,500 to 7,000 euros in Spain, 3,000 to 4,500 euros in Greece and Czech Republic and around 2,500 to 3,500 euros in Ukraine.
Poland, Cyprus and Hungary are in the similar price range with Czech Republic, while Georgia and Turkey are similar to Ukraine. Most of the European destinations are also popular for Egg Donation cycles with an extra cost of around 2,500 to 4,000 euros to the above price ranges.
Mexico has been a popular IVF destination for US and Canadian patients due to its proximity and low prices compared to those in the US and Canada. Mexico prices are very similar to Spain.
Q: Can you talk us through the refund programs?
Refund guarantee programs try to address the increased uncertainty of how much it will cost until the end of the journey. Even with the best odds, nobody can guarantee that one will achieve a pregnancy in the first attempt, and even if pregnancy is achieved, there is also a 15% likelihood of early miscarriage recorded on average. Therefore, nobody can calculate the end cost of the journey to a live birth. The refund guarantee programs take this financial uncertainty, so you know you will either have your live birth or your money back.
Because companies like Redia are taking the financial risk, they do the due diligence in carefully screening the fertility clinics that they work with to make sure they are the best.
So to clarify, refund programs offer multi-cycle IVF packages with all medical costs included until a live birth is achieved, with a refund guarantee if such a result is not achieved.
Q: Do you offer loans? If so, can we pay for the 3 cycles in instalments? If yes, what is the interest rate?
Redia is not a financial institution and therefore is not allowed to offer loans. Patients can apply to any financial institution for a consumer loan if they meet the credit score requirements.
What we offer to assist with financing is to offer a payment schedule. Patients have to pay 50% of the cost of the program as a deposit, but they can then choose to pay the remaining 50% in 6 monthly instalments. There is no interest rate for this schedule, only a small administrative fee.
Q: If I go with a refund program, am I given a choice of clinics?
Redia’s program is unique. You are given a choice of more than 25 clinics in 11 different countries depending on your needs and budget. We are here to give advice and guidance but the decision on which clinic to use remains with the patient.
Q: If I have a round of IVF at a clinic but then want to swap to another, can I do this?
This is the most unique benefit that Redia offers. Patients have the right to change clinics within the program between cycles. So if you have had a failed cycle and wish to swap clinics, you can do that while remaining in the refund guarantee program.
Q: The refund scheme says ‘full refund if no baby’. Can you clarify what this means?
Our program offers a full refund if no live birth occurs after all 3 cycles and all embryo transfers within those cycles. Full refund programs have medical and age conditions. We also offer 50% refund programs for certain age groups.
Q: How do I choose between the clinics that support the refund program?
Redia is constantly negotiating with new clinics to increase its partnership network and offer more choice to patients across the globe.
We do have a list of partner clinics on our website, which we update often, however, we do understand that choosing a clinic may be a difficult task for many patients. That is why we offer guidance to anyone who has difficulty in deciding which clinic to go for.
For more information about the refund scheme, click here, or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions.