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11 Ways to Reduce the Financial Burden of Fertility Preservation

Published on June 4, 2024 in Educational Resources

A woman reviews fertility preservation costs at the table with a laptop and notepad in front of her.

Facing the financial burden of fertility preservation procedures can be challenging for patients with brain tumors and their caregivers. Each fertility preservation option comes with its own set of costs, including annual storage fees. Before deciding whether to move forward, looking at the potential costs where you live can be helpful.

The cost of fertility preservation varies greatly, depending on where you live and the selected procedure. The Alliance for Fertility Preservation estimates that egg or embryo freezing ranges from $10,000-$15,000 per cycle with an additional $300-$600 per year in storage. For sperm banking, they estimate that the process costs $500-$1,000, with storage costing an additional $150-$400 yearly. Once you select a fertility clinic, they should be able to outline the anticipated costs for your desired procedure. 

Livestrong Fertility works with more than 150 clinics and cryobanks across the U.S. that offer discounts and free medications to eligible patients with cancer. When you’re ready to find a fertility clinic, search their map by zip code to see if one of their partner clinics is nearby. Fertility Scout, a tool by the Alliance for Fertility Preservation, can also help find clinics, sperm banks, and family-building services in your area. 

Explore the following tips to try to reduce costs associated with fertility preservation.

1. Look up your state to see if it has a mandate requiring coverage.

A couple reviews fertility preservation costs at a table.

Insurance mandates covering fertility treatments vary by state from zero to partial to full coverage. Review Resolve’s map to see which states have infertility insurance laws requiring some or full coverage.

“It’s interesting because California and New York have legislation for fertility preservation,” said Megan Scherer, co-founder and executive director of Worth the Wait. “It looks good on paper that these mandates exist, but so many people fall into the loophole. For instance, if you’re on Medicaid, it’s not covered in California. In different states, you might get one round [only] or not have storage.”

It also can make a difference whether your health insurance plan is self-insured. According to, a self-insured plan is a “type of plan usually present in larger companies where the employer collects premiums from enrollees and takes on the responsibility of paying employees’ and dependents’ medical claims.” 

Unfortunately, many of these self-funded or self-insured plans fall into loopholes.

“If you’re in one of those plans where they say it’s not covered, but you know all of your funding is going into this one pot of money, you can talk to HR,” Megan suggested. “Explain your situation and ask, ‘Is there anything you can do? Can you make an exception? [Have you considered] that this many people on the plan could be affected?’ If you find out that you don’t have coverage [in a state that mandates coverage], you could appeal it.”

2. Contact your health insurance provider. 

Contact your health insurance company to determine whether you qualify for any coverage. For example, your provider may cover the procedure to freeze your eggs or embryos but not the annual storage fees. It’s essential to understand which expenses will be out of pocket.

“Ask what your insurance covers,” said Abby D., who has glioblastoma. “I didn’t know I had to pay to keep the eggs frozen. My insurance covered the first year, but I pay every five years with my savings.”

Starting in 2023, federal employees now have insurance coverage for fertility preservation procedures for individuals facing infertility associated with cancer treatments.

3. Ask the fertility clinic whether they offer discounts for patients with cancer. 

A male patient speaks to his fertility clinic about costs.

Many fertility clinics have a social worker or financial navigator who answers questions and provides recommendations for managing out-of-pocket expenses. 

“At my university, we are giving a 50% discount for patients with cancer if they have to pay out of pocket,” said Anna Sokalska, MD, PhD, the director of the Fertility Preservation Program at Stanford University School of Medicine.

While Dr. Sokalska’s clinic discount is not representative of the type of discount to expect everywhere, it is certainly worth asking your clinic whether a discount is available.

Are you or your significant other a veteran or active service member? Ask if your clinic offers a military discount.

If your fertility clinic does not offer a discount, see if you can negotiate costs or work out payment plans to manage the upfront financial burden. Megan says that typically, “clinics are really good about finding the lowest costs.”

4. Look into organizations that offer financial assistance for fertility preservation after a cancer diagnosis. 

Research nonprofit organizations that provide financial assistance for fertility preservation procedures needed by patients with cancer to see if they qualify for any support.

Livestrong Fertility

Livestrong Fertility has partnered with compassionate clinics nationwide that have committed to providing at least a 25% discount on their services for qualifying patients. 

“Five years ago, Livestrong was the only program I could find that gave support for IVF when the patient with cancer is male,” said Julie W., who underwent three embryo transfers after her husband’s glioblastoma diagnosis. “They paid for the sperm banking, and then they also paid for all of the IVF medications, which is a huge, huge discount, so that helped a lot. They have partnership agreements with fertility clinics around the country to reduce the cost of IVF. We paid about $5,000 for what would have cost $20,000+ for multiple cycles.”

Heart Beat Program

The Heart Beat program offers fertility medications to eligible female patients (U.S. citizens or permanent residents who have not yet started cancer treatment) at no cost and with no financial requirements. 

“Between LiveStrong and the [Heart Beat] program that helped pay for injections, I’m sure we saved upwards of $10,000,” said Stephanie D., who was diagnosed with astrocytoma. 

Worth the Wait

Worth the Wait is a nonprofit that provides financial support and educational resources for fertility treatments, adoption, and surrogacy for patients with cancer between the ages of 13 and 39. They offer two grant cycles a month for patients pursuing fertility preservation. Grants range from $500-$2,500 and are paid directly to the clinic. 

Patients must provide their IRS 1040 tax form — one of the documents used to file their annual tax return — to demonstrate their household income and documentation from their oncologist to verify their diagnosis and the need for fertility preservation.

Worth the Wait offers a quarterly grant application process for patients looking to pursue family building after treatment.

Hope Grant Program

Chick Mission’s Hope Grant Program supports newly diagnosed female patients choosing to preserve fertility options ahead of treatment. They work with fertility practices in California, Colorado, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, and Texas.

5. Consider applying for scholarships or grants.

See if there are local organizations nearby that may provide financial assistance for fertility treatment.

6. Pursue fertility treatment through the VA’s community care program

“Veterans with infertility due to a service-connected disability are eligible for fertility treatment,” said Liz P., whose husband has ependymoma. “Since the PACT Act meant Julio’s brain tumor was finally considered service-connected, we are attempting to go through this process, but it is very slow.”

7. Use pre-tax accounts to help fund fertility preservation. 

You can use your Health Savings Account (HSA) or Flexible Spending Account (FSA) funds toward qualified fertility preservation expenses, including temporary egg storage fees. 

8. Compare different financing options and their respective APR.

A person researches fertility preservation financing options on their laptop.

Comparing different financing options such as personal loans, credit card debt, fertility clinic financing, and a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) is beneficial for several reasons when facing fertility preservation expenses:

  • Cost Comparison: APR (Annual Percentage Rate) represents the total cost of borrowing, including interest and fees. Comparing APR allows you to understand the actual cost of each financing option and choose the one with the lowest overall expense.
  • Interest Rates: Different financing methods come with varying interest rates. By comparing interest rates, you can choose the option that offers the most favorable terms, helping you minimize the total amount paid over time.
  • Terms and Repayment Period: Each financing option has its own terms and repayment periods. Understanding these terms helps you assess the impact on your monthly budget and choose a plan that aligns with your financial situation.
  • Flexibility: Consider the flexibility of each financing option. Personal loans and credit cards may offer more repayment flexibility, while fertility clinic financing and HELOCs may have specific terms that need careful consideration.
  • Credit Impact: Taking on debt can impact your credit score. Comparing financing options allows you to choose the one that minimizes the negative impact on your credit and helps you maintain a healthy credit profile.

The best option for you is truly personalized based on your location, selected procedure, credit score, and other factors. 

For example, financing through a patient’s fertility clinic may be less expensive than a personal loan for “Patient A,” but a personal loan may be more affordable than financing through “Patient B’s” fertility clinic. A zero-percent credit card may be the best option, depending on one’s credit score and finances. That’s why looking at multiple options is wise to determine the best one for your circumstances.

“There was a couple we helped that had a credit card balance, and they transferred it to a credit union loan,” Megan said.

9. Look into prescription assistance programs.

Fertility preservation is costly but prescription assistance programs may help reduce the financial burden.

Check for pharmaceutical assistance programs that provide discounts or free medications for fertility treatments. Manufacturers may have programs to help with the costs. Your fertility clinic’s financial navigator or social worker may know where to start.

Potential options for fertility preservation include ReUnite Assist and EMD Serono Fertility’s Compassionate Care. ReproTech’s Verna’s Purse program offers discounted storage for individuals facing fertility-threatening treatment.

“ReproTech is somewhat nationwide, but some states don’t have any options available,” Megan said. “I always tell people, especially guys that need to bank, to see if there’s a clinic in their area. Even if it’s two hours away, you might want to go bank your sperm there if you only have to pay $100 a year for storage compared to, let’s say, $800. They also have a program where you can bank wherever you want, get your eggs frozen wherever you want, and then pay to have them shipped to one of their storage facilities. If you’re going to have it frozen for three or four years, it’s probably worth it for you to get it shipped out of state [until you’re ready to move forward after treatment].”

10. Consider crowdfunding.

Some patients and their partners have successfully raised funds to help cover the cost of fertility preservation. If you have already created a GoFundMe page for assistance with your treatment expenses, consider adding a note about the need for fertility preservation to encourage friends, family, and your community to support you in this way. 

“I’ve seen a lot of people who’ve gotten grants from us who are supplementing with GoFundMe,” Megan shared.

11. Ask about possible tax deductions.

Consult with a tax professional to explore potential tax deductions related to fertility preservation expenses. In some cases, medical expenses can be deducted from income taxes, especially when combined with surgery or cancer treatment costs.

According to NerdWallet, taxpayers could “deduct qualified, unreimbursed medical expenses that are more than 7.5% of their 2023 adjusted gross income” for 2023 tax returns filed in 2024. The percentage threshold may change, so confirm with your tax advisor. 

“We had at least one year where we doubled up on those [cancer treatment and fertility preservation] expenses, and we were able to get a good break on our taxes, so that’s important to look at,” Julie said.

Next Blog: Tips from Patients & Caregivers

A couple holds hands on an autumn walk

Remember to communicate openly with health care providers, fertility clinics, and support organizations to maximize available resources and reduce the financial burden associated with fertility preservation procedures.

“Don’t be afraid to ask for a discount or if they can work with you,” Megan said. “So many of these places are cash upfront, but if you have a really compelling story, share it.”

You may feel overwhelmed trying to navigate surgery, cancer treatment, and other financial difficulties, much less fertility preservation costs. Ask friends to help you research financing options, apply for scholarships or grants, or even promote a crowdfunding effort to help expedite your decision-making process.

In July, our next post in this series will share tips from patients and caregivers who have undergone the fertility preservation process.

National Brain Tumor Society does not provide legal, tax, or financial advice. We strongly recommend you consult professional advisors on all legal, tax, or financial matters. This communication is not intended or written to be used and cannot be used for the purpose of avoiding tax-related penalties.

Fertility preservation is a common quality of life concern for patients with brain tumors and their loved ones. The content in this blog post is for informational and educational purposes only. It does not constitute medical advice, nor is it a political statement. States may have different laws or restrictions regarding infertility treatment technology, as this is a shifting landscape, so please speak with your health care team to discuss your particular circumstances before making decisions.

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