Would You Get a Loan To Undergo IVF?
We all know that IVF isn’t exactly budget friendly, but that doesn’t stop couples from undergoing the procedure -- all with the help of “fertility finance” companies. According to The Wall Street Journal, finance companies have joined forces with fertility doctors to help patients take out loans for fertility treatments. One company lent a woman $5,000 at an interest rate of 7.99 percent to help cover the $24,000 cost. Many fertility finance companies are seeing business grow because of the lagging economy -- other methods couples have used in the past to pay for these treatments, including home-equity loans and credit cards, aren’t as easy to qualify for any more. Doug Weiss, senior vice president of IntergraMed America, a fertility-clinic operator in Purchase, NY, told the WSJ that fertility loans are “pretty much a recession-proof business, since the biological clock doesn’t stop.”
But the WSJ says there are critics of the fertility lenders. Some doctors believe these companies may take advantage of couples who are desperately trying to have a baby. And others think some doctors may push the loans onto their patients if they could benefit financially from it.
For example, some fertility clinics offer a package of fertility treatments, with the promise of money back if they don’t work -- one plan offers a 70 percent refund for a $24,000 package of six IVF treatments. That’s a sum most patients likely need to finance. But critics point out that a patient buys the package and then gets pregnant after the first treatment is still responsible to pay back the full $24,000. Some believe that some doctors may screen women beforehand for the likelihood of getting pregnant on the first round and offer the refund program to them, which results in a bigger profit for the clinic and the finance company. Others say it’s a valuable program and provides security for women who might have trouble getting pregnant on the first round.
Although there is no official reporting on how much money in fertility loans was distributed, insiders say that the loans totaled $4 billion in 2011.
What do you think of taking out loans to do IVF? Would you ever consider it?
Plus, more from The Bump:
The Real Cost of Fertility Treatments
6 Ways to Tell You're Fertile
Fertility Treatment Basics
See More: Fertility and Ovulation , Fertility Concerns
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