Even though my husband and I methodically examined our options to make the best financial decision, we still had the ability to pay over $10,000 cash upfront for IVF, genetic testing, medication, flights and hotels. We paid significantly less for IVF abroad than we would have in the states (IVF costs an average of $17,000-$20,000 in the USA) but taking off 10 days of work, flying to Europe and spending $10,000 on an “IVF Vacation” is still very much out-of-reach for many couples.
I’m a member of several support groups and I’ve seen the “How will we afford IVF?!” question pop up on a near-daily basis. Many couples borrow against their 401k or take out a second mortgage in efforts to afford IVF. Many go bankrupt trying to conceive their child.
One of the most ingenious and clever suggestions for affording IVF that I’ve seen is women working part time at Starbucks. Starbucks is an amazingly progressive company to work for. Starbucks offers all employees who work over 20 hours a week full infertility benefits. Most of the women who do this also work full-time careers. They sling coffee all weekend and a few early morning shifts a week before heading to the office. It sounds difficult, but not impossible. I really love their hustle! I also love how terrific Starbucks treats their employees. In addition to offering amazing healthcare benefits, they also offer to pay their full-time employee’s college tuition. Yes, you read that correctly.
I will continue to sip my Grande-Soy-Cinnamon-Dolce-Lattes or my Venti-Skinny-Iced-Macchiatos guilt free.