IVF Refund Programs Cost, Risk, Pros and Cons

IVF refund program


What are IVF Refund or IVF Guarantee Programs?

IVF Refund Program is a term used for financial IVF programs. They give the patient access to two or three IVF cycles for one payment. Usually fresh embryo transfers and extra frozen embryo transfers are included in the price. The IVF Refund program cost in Europe ranges from €10,000 to €20,000 depending on the type of program and the country.

A multi-cycle IVF refund program means that the treatment continues until the desired result. It may refer to either clinical pregnancy or a live birth – or until all of the program’s cycles are completed. If the IVF program ends successfully, the clinic will not return your money. However, if you don’t achieve your goal, you can count on a partial or full refund of the costs.

IVF Refund or IVF Money Back Guarantee – what exactly is guaranteed?

Programs with a “guarantee” label are becoming more commonly offered by IVF clinics. More often than not, however, the “guarantee” refers to either a pregnancy or a live birth guarantee. It’s worth noting that despite their increasing popularity, the naming conventions used for such offers can be confusing. As we all know, there are no “guarantees” in medicine – every doctor can attest to that fact. Thus, the only guarantees we can talk about are financial in nature, that is, a refund guarantee in case the IVF program does not end in expected results.

Clinics don’t advertise IVF guarantee programs using the term “success guarantee” anymore. These days, you’re more likely to encounter these types of treatment under any of the following terms:

  • IVF Guarantee – this name is the most misleading and shouldn’t be used
  • IVF Refund
  • IVF Money Back Guarantee
  • IVF Shared Risk/Shared IVF Success Program

Why are IVF Refund programs increasing in popularity?

There are many reasons why refund programs for IVF are becoming increasingly popular, chief among them:

  • the possibility of detailed treatment cost planning on the part of the patient
  • and the possibility or a “guarantee” of receiving a full or partial refund in case of failure.

Both are valid reasons to consider an IVF Refund program.

Are you interested in Egg Donation IVF Refund Program?

Types of IVF Refund and IVF Money Back Guarantee programs

IVF Refund and IVF Money Back Guarantee programs can be further divided into:

  • Programs which aim to achieve a clinical pregnancy, usually defined as reaching the sixth, seventh or twelfth week of pregnancy
  • Programs in which the main goal is the live birth of a child
  • IVF Refund programs in which the patient doesn’t receive a refund if the treatment is successful
  • IVF Refund programs in which the patient receives a partial refund if the treatment is successful

It is also worth noting that refund programs for IVF are available both for treatment using the patient’s own eggs, as well as donor eggs.

Classic IVF Refund Program specification:

IVF Refund Program / Money Back Guarantee IVF
Average IVF Refund Program cost€17,000
Average no of cycles included in Program3
Program success rate average85-99%
Included in Programvisits, ICSI, Blastocyst culture, embryo freezing, frozen embryo transfer
IVF Refund Program qualification restrictionsBMI < 35, age of woman up to 55 (depends on country)
Expected outcomepregnancy / 12th week
Refund amount100%

IVF Refund Program – is it for me?

Remember that no matter what the program offers and however it’s called, what the clinic actually offers is a refund “guarantee” in case the treatment does not conclude with satisfactory results. Should you then use such a program? Simply put – if finances are an important aspect of your IVF treatment and you can afford it, then yes – you definitely should consider an IVF Refund program.

Have doubts or questions about a shared risk IVF program? Chat with Dimitris Kavakas on WhatsApp.

Pros and Cons of IVF Refund programs

IVF Refund Program – Pros

  • A full or partial refund in case of an unsuccessful IVF treatment, which can be put towards further treatments
  • The clinic is motivated to achieve a success as quickly as possible – after all, a money refund is on the line
  • If you use all of the IVF cycles within the program, oftentimes the program turns out to be cheaper than doing the same number of cycles outside of such a program
  • You can focus on your treatment instead of your finances – because you’re covered by a program and have more cycles available
  • Every cycle assigned to your program will be performed at the same clinic. Oftentimes patients switch clinics after a failed attempt. That’s not always the smartest choice, as sticking with one clinic allows their staff more insight into your medical history.
  • Financial planning of your treatment is easier, since it’s easier to estimate the total cost of the program.

IVF Refund Program – Cons

  • If you achieve your desired result during the first cycle, you’ll end up paying more than you would when paying for a single cycle outside of any program (that’s why we’re talking here about ‘IVF shared risk’ finance programs).
  • Not every patient qualifies for an IVF Refund program. When it comes to treatments using donor eggs, the qualifications for the patients are relatively lax. If you’re set on using your own eggs, it becomes much harder to qualify, as the financial risk for the clinic becomes higher
  • Higher entry cost for such programs

IVF Refund Program qualification

Patients considering signing up for an IVF Refund program will need to pass medical tests in order to qualify for treatment. Couples where men has low quality sperm, for instance, are disqualified from partaking in such programs. Different clinics have their own criteria for judging sperm quality. Some use the latest WHO directives, while others have their own standards dictated by their own experience.

Some clinics also require a karyotype test, which isn’t cheap (average prices: Spain €300, Greece €250, Britain €600). It only needs to be performed once during a patient’s lifetime. In egg donation treatments, the female doesn’t need to undergo karyotype testing – genetic material from the donor is used.

Are the patient age and BMI a factor when qualifying for an IVF Refund program?

In case of IVF treatment using donor eggs your age doesn’t play a role. However, many countries have different legislating regulating the maximum age of the patient – usually it’s around 50 years of age. In case of treatment using your own eggs, however, your age will be the basic qualifying factor. Usually the maximum age is 39 years old. It also needs to be noted that patients aged 37 to 39 receive smaller refunds. Sometimes as low as 50% – when compared to younger patients using IVF Guarantee programs.

An important requirement for an IVF Refund Program is an appropriate BMI (Body Mass Index). In IVF with donor eggs programs, maximum acceptable BMI is 35. In case of having a high BMI value – close to 35, but not above – the clinic may recommend performing additional tests.

Example qualifications for a sample Donor Egg IVF Refund program in a Spanish clinic:

  • Hormone tests
  • Endometrium quality test (transvaginal ultrasound scan)
  • Male partner: semen analysis and karyotype
  • Maximum patient age: 50 (due to Spanish law)

The qualification takes place at the clinic. While the qualifying tests aren’t free of charge, their cost may be deducted from the total cost of the program if you qualify.

IVF Refund program cost

The total costs of an IVF Refund program can range from €10,000 to €25,000. It surely does not fall within the definition of affordable fertillity treatment, does it? When compared with the price of a single donor egg IVF treatment, it’s in fact much more expensive. What drives the price of such a program?

  • The type of treatment – IVF using your own or donor eggs (egg donation)
  • The desired result – clinical pregnancy or live birth; programs aimed at achieving a live birth are more expensive, since the success rates aren’t as high
  • The number of IVF cycles, frozen embryo transfers and additional IVF Laboratory techniques covered by the program

Additionally, the IVF Refund Program cost is affected by the same elements that dictate the price of a one-off IVF treatment. Such as the number of donor eggs received by the patient and additional procedures in an embryological laboratory (such as ICSI, developing blastocysts etc.). Clinics which offer such programs often include additional services and procedures. Techniques which may increase the success rate of treatment in order to minimize the risk of failure (or the risk of a refund, if you prefer).

The cost of medications for the patient is sometimes not included into the program’s costs. These medications, which help prepare the uterus to receive the embryo, can cost up to €400, depending on the country.

Another additional cost would appear if you’re interested in using donor sperm – between €1,200 and €1,500 on average.
PGT-A, or as it used to be known, PGS diagnostics, are often not included in program prices either. If you’re considering signing up for such a program, make sure you ask if these additional costs are factored into the program price.

The total cost of an IVF Refund program is also influenced by the country a given clinic is located in. Programs in Spanish clinics are more expensive than those in Greek clinics, because the treatment costs are higher in Spain.

IVF Refund and IVF Money Back Guarantee Programs in Europe

IVF Refund programs are oftentimes offered by external companies which work directly with IVF clinics. The external company offers financing for IVF costs, while the clinic provides the treatment. While this sounds unusual, you can be assured that companies providing patients with fertility treatment financing opportunities are sufficiently experienced and enjoy a solid reputation. Once you make your payment to the external company, no further payments need to be made at the clinic itself.

Below you can find costs of IVF Refund programs with donor eggs in Europe, North America, India and Malaysia with an expected outcome – live birth:

IVF Refund Program cost using donor eggs, with live birth as the stated goal

CountryIVF Refund Program Costs
using donor egg
Czech Republic€16,000
United Kingdom€24,000

As you can see, the United States and the UK are definitely the most expensive destinations for such treatment. For this reason, a lot of American and British patients choose to sign up for IVF Refund programs in Europe. More about IVF Refund programs in the US you’ll find here. If you’re looking for IVF Refund Program in the UK – read an article in Guardian regarding IVF Money Back options in the UK.

Who pays for the IVF Refund program?

If we take a closer look at the financial model upon which egg donor programs with money back guarantee are based, we may come to a conclusion that it’s a Shared Risk solution. It makes the name “Shared Risk IVF” the most apt, although rarely used due to marketing reasons.

What this means in practice is that patients who quickly achieve success in their treatment finance the treatment of those who need more time. They also cover the risk of the clinic offering such treatment. This is exactly how any shared risk program works. And this isn’t bad at all – as long as you as a patient are fully informed of all the aspects (both positive and negative).

I’m interested in a shared risk program – where to start?

Are you interested in signing up for an IVF Refund program (aka Shared Risk IVF Program) and aware of the costs associated with such treatment? Fill out the form above – and get to know if it’s really an option for you. Our consultants will contact you and discuss further steps.