How much does IVF cost in Australia?
A single IVF treatment typically costs over $8,000 in Australia. Here’s how Medicare and private health insurance can help.
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At more than $8,000 per cycle, the median cost of IVF can be a big hurdle for people hoping to get pregnant. That's without taking extra expenses into account, like hospital admissions, consultant fees and any other medical procedures you might need.
Thankfully, there are ways to make it more affordable. If you're entitled to Medicare, you can reduce the cost by thousands of dollars. If you have top-tier private health insurance, you could bring the price down even further.
This page will explain some of the main costs associated with IVF as well as how different rebates work, so you can get a more accurate idea of your potential out-of-pocket costs.
Compare health insurance for IVF
The policies listed in this table all provide cover for IVF and come with a 12-month waiting period. They come with heaps of other benefits too, so don't forget to click "More Info" for a better look.
The policies listed in this table are all Finder partners.
How much does IVF cost?
According to the Department of Health, the median cost of IVF in Australia is $8,015. That cost will vary between providers and it doesn't take into account any additional treatments or services that you might need.
If you're entitled to Medicare, the bill will be much lower. That's because Medicare pays towards the cost of IVF as long as you have a referral from your doctor.
|Treatment||Median cost||Medicare rebate|
|Initial IVF cycle||$8,015||$3,027.35|
|Subsequent IVF cycle||$7,950||$2,826.35|
The Medicare rebate shown applies if you have not reached the Medicare Safety Net. If you have reached the threshold, you may receive a larger benefit from Medicare.
What other costs are associated with IVF?
In addition to the actual IVF procedure, there are other medical expenses associated with IVF. We've listed some common examples in the table below, but be aware that these costs may vary depending on your own health history, location and medical practitioner.
|Treatment||Median cost||Medicare rebate|
|Frozen embryo transfer||$2,510||$710.15|
Source: The Department of Health, 16 October 2020. The Medicare rebate shown applies if you have not reached the Medicare Safety Net. If you have reached the threshold, you may receive a larger benefit from Medicare.
Is IVF covered by Medicare?
Yes, the cost of IVF is partially covered by Medicare. If you have a current referral from your doctor, Medicare can reduce the cost of treatment by thousands of dollars.
Medicare can also help with the cost of other procedures associated with IVF, including ICSI, which involves injecting sperm directly into an egg.
What is the Medicare Safety Net?
The Medicare Safety Net provides further financial relief to Australians who incur particularly high out-of-hospital costs in a year.
Once your out-of-pocket costs reach a certain threshold, Medicare will increase the benefit amount on certain procedures or treatments.
|Threshold||Threshold amount||What counts towards the threshold?||What benefit will you get back?|
|Original (OMSN)||$477.90||Your gap amount||100% of the schedule fee for out-of-hospital services|
|Extended (EMSN)||$2,169.20||Your out-of-pocket expenses||80% of out-of-pocket costs or the EMSN benefit caps for out-of-hospital services|
Does private health insurance cover IVF?
Gold tier hospital policies can help towards the overall cost of IVF but there are some conditions you'll probably have to meet before receiving a benefit.
Usually, private hospital insurance will only cover services where you are admitted as a patient to hospital. This is typically called an in-patient service. It's also likely that your fund will only pay a benefit if there is a Medicare benefit number attached to the service or procedure.
Generally, the main surgical procedure in an IVF cycle is the egg collection. You might see this procedure referred to as egg pick-up, oocyte pick-up, OPU or even egg harvesting.
This procedure is performed in an operating theatre, so you'll be admitted as an in-patient. If your policy covers assisted reproductive services, which gold policies do, then the hospital accommodation and theatre fees will be covered by your health fund. If you're admitted as an in-patient for the embryo transfer procedure, the same benefits will apply again.
A gold level policy will also help cover the cost of anaesthetists and doctors fees, counselling appointments and some IVF drugs.
Are there waiting periods?
Yes. You can expect a 12-month waiting period for IVF with private health insurance. This is so that people don't just buy health insurance when they realise they need IVF, then cancel it immediately after.
Don't worry, gold tier hospital insurance comes with heaps of other benefits that you'll be eligible for before 12 months. So you'll still get value from your policy in the meantime.
How can I pay for IVF?
Even with the help of Medicare and private health insurance, IVF can still come at a considerable expense, especially if you need to have more than one treatment.
Don't worry though. There are lots of ways that you can make the costs more manageable, including:
- Payment plans. Many health providers offer payment plans to customers, or they have partnerships with buy now pay later service providers. Talk to your health provider to find out more.
- Your super fund. In some circumstances, you may be able to access your super fund to help cover the cost of IVF. Always think twice about doing this though, as it will eat into your retirement savings.
- An IVF loan. If you can't cover the costs of IVF upfront, you can take out a personal loan and then repay it over a period of months or years.
Picture: Getty Images
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