Starting IVF is a big decision.  It can not only be expensive, but also stressful. There’s lots to think about…

Here are some of the practical things that our IVF clients say they wish they knew before the process.

1. Can I Afford IVF?

Not all IVF clinics have the same fee structure, so this is something you may want to review before choosing a clinic and fertility specialist.

If cost is a barrier, we recommend you also be aware of these three financial support options (discussed more below):

  • bulk billing IVF clinics 

  • the Medicare safety net and 

  • the possibility of access to superannuation.  

Some of these may not be suitable to you and your personal circumstances, however, it’s good to have all the information in front of you to help your decision making process.

2. Should I Consider Bulk Billing Clinics?

There are now several fertility clinics offering bulk-billed IVF in Brisbane.  Not all costs are covered, however, there’s a lot to be saved with Medicare-eligible expenses taken out of the equation.  Items typically covered include blood tests, ultrasound scans, GP consultations, egg and sperm collections, cycle fees, embryo transfer and pregnancy tests.  However, there are other expenses that you are typically required to pay in full such as treatment room fees for egg collection, storage of eggs, sperm or embryos and medications.

There can be eligibility conditions with bulk billing IVF clinics (such as age or BMI), so it’s a good idea to contact these clinics to check you meet their criteria.  Most clinics will also require a GP (or gynaecologist) referral.

Here are a few of the bulk billing or low-cost IVF options around Brisbane:

3. Do I Need To Register For Medicare Safety Net?

If it’s more than just you starting the IVF process, then YES!  You won’t need to register if you are considered an “individual” by Medicare (ie you’re not in a relationship and don’t have dependants), however, if you are part of a family or a couple you will need to register.  Even if all of your family members are on the same Medicare card, you’re still required to register.

Medicare provides a rebate for Australians who incur out-of-pocket costs for out-of-hospital services (such as those incurred with IVF).  When these costs go over the annual threshold (currently $2,093 or a reduced Concession threshold), your benefit will apply to out of hospital medical services and you will also be eligible to receive a further rebate for the out of pocket amount.  This will apply for the rest of the calendar year and the threshold is based on the total of all those registered together.   It is also worth noting that the Medicare Safety Net isn’t just for IVF expenses – for example if you wanted to get a little extra support from a counsellor or psychologist (in the same calendar year), this extended rebate will apply to services covered by Medicare.

4. Can I Access My Superannuation?

You may be eligible to apply for access to your superannuation on compassionate grounds. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO).  If you meet the eligibility requirements, evidence will be required to support your application and it requires you not having paid the expense yet. 

5. Will IVF Be Covered Under My Private Health?

Private health insurance may help reduce the costs associated with IVF treatment, which are not covered by Medicare.  The level of private health hospital cover you have will determine whether you are covered for assisted reproductive services such as IVF, and the level of rebate you will receive.  You will need to check with your provider to confirm that you have assisted reproductive services cover and if a waiting period is required.

6. What are the IVF Clinic Success Rates?

Success rates for IVF vary significantly and will also depend on the individual’s age and personal circumstances.  The Australian Government has a website, YourIVFSuccess, that gives you more data to assist with your clinic choice. The website includes statistics on IVF success rates across various fertility clinics.  It also has an IVF Success Estimator that can help you to estimate your chance of success with IVF, based on data from IVF participants in fertility clinics across Australia.

If you would like to know more about how we can support your IVF journey, please give us a call on 0406 331 737 or book as per the link below.