“IVF is so expensive,” is something that patients tell Ash Carroll-Miller, founder and CEO of Access Fertility, every single day. So we asked Ash to write us a guest blog about how Access Fertility is helping people to make it affordable.
Patients in all clinics up and down the country say that IVF is expensive, whether it be an average clinic or a great clinic like Bourn Hall.
My view is that IVF is not expensive, because the skill, time and investment required to deliver the service is so great, but there’s no escaping the fact that it is a high cost service. The average cost of a single IVF cycle (cycle = 1 go) is £5-7,000 in the UK. Most patients will require at least 2 cycles in order to have a baby, and it’s easy to see how the costs involved start to scare many.
Can I pay over time?
In an environment where NHS provision of IVF is gradually reducing the need for patients to fund their own treatment is increasing. Many patients therefore ask in clinic, or directly to Access Fertility, ‘can I pay over time?’, ‘do you offer finance?’ and ‘is there anything I can do to make this more affordable?’ The reality is that all clinics ask for payment in full and before the start of treatment. For some patients that is just not possible.
All things considered, many patients face challenges when it comes to affording the amount of treatment they might need in order to have a baby.
When you consider a national success rate of 26% (national average live birth rate per cycle started for all ages) the prospect of paying for more treatment, or even borrowing, becomes even harder to stomach. Would you borrow £7,000 for a new car if there was a 74% chance the car wouldn’t be there in morning? Probably not.
No baby? 100% refund
At Access Fertility, we understand the challenges faced by patients when trying to make financial sense of their IVF treatment.
That’s why, in partnership with leading clinics like Bourn Hall, we have created a suite of IVF programmes that help patients access the treatment they need by: reducing the potential cost of treatment – fixing the price of treatment – providing a refund for those patients who don’t succeed – offering payments by instalments.
We offer patients the chance to access multiple treatment cycles with a refund of 100% if they don’t succeed. That certainly seems to help the financial pressure as patients know that if they don’t have a baby they will receive their money back.
If patients have multiple treatment cycles, and have a baby, they can rest assured that they will save around 1/3 on the cost of treatment vs. paying the clinic directly. But patients still need to pay Access Fertility…….and for those patients without large amounts of savings, a bank of mum and dad or a generous credit card we aim to help.
Aim to improve access to IVF
Our key ambition is to help as many patients as possible access the treatment they need. We make this easier by offering patients the chance to borrow the money they need to cover their treatment costs. Patients can repay over 1-5 years and Access Fertility brings a sympathetic, understanding and compassionate approach to its finance offering.
We know that IVF cost is a significant obstacle for many people. At Access Fertility we will continue to work hard to remove this obstacle so more patients can achieve their dream of having a baby.
Ash Carroll-Miller is the founder and CEO of Access Fertility, a company he founded in 2013. Having spent all of his career in the health sector Ash has an in-depth knowledge of patient need, treatment priorities, NHS provision and private health. Ash has been involved in the fertility area for the past 7 years and, having seen the high cost of private treatment and the unfairness of NHS provision, Ash realised patients needed help in gaining access to treatment. His passion, and the mission of Access Fertility, is to find ways to help patients realise their dream of having a baby without placing themselves in financial risk.