Money, or rather the lack of it, is a topic that comes up so often in our conversations with men and women who have been told IVF is the path they need to take
Faced with the prospect of initial bills for treatment in the thousands, many have had to bring their dreams of parenthood to a tragic end. However, with the launch of Gaia, the company who are offering IVF insurance, those dreams may still have a chance. We turned to the team at Gaia to find out more…….
You describe yourself as IVF insurance. What exactly does this mean?
We remove the financial unknowns and provide protection throughout IVF treatment, so that you only have to pay back for your IVF treatment if and when you have a child. Our Members pay a premium to start a round of IVF, and we cover their full cost of treatment, including medication. If they do not have a child in their covered rounds, they pay no more than that. If and when they do have a child, they pay back their treatment costs in monthly instalments.
What is the difference between borrowing from you and borrowing from a loan/credit card company?
If you use a Gaia Plan, you are only paying for your IVF if and when you have your child. Currently you can pay back your treatment costs over 12 months with 0% interest, whereas a loan or credit card will include interest on your repayments.
If I have been turned down for a loan due to my low income, is it likely that you will turn me down too?
Not necessarily. We require a credit and identity check to ensure that our plans are fair and affordable to you. You or your partner, if applicable, must must have a credit score of 570 or higher according to TransUnion’s credit scoring system. We only check your credit score once during your Gaia Membership.
How do you put together a personalised plan for me?
We build you your very own personalised insurance plan using data from over 1 million previous treatments. After you complete your Gaia profile, we predict your chances of success across a maximum of 6 IVF rounds. We then create a Gaia Plan for you, insuring you for the number of rounds where you have at least an 82% chance of success.
Our personalised insurance plan means that if you do not have a child within your insured rounds, you would only pay a premium per round. If you are successful – and only once you have given birth to your child – you would pay back the cost of the IVF rounds you completed, in monthly instalments.
We also fix the cost of your IVF treatment for you, including all your medication costs up until 12 weeks of pregnancy and pay your clinic upfront. We customise your fixed treatment costs based on your chosen clinic and their costs of treatment.
Before I receive my personalised insurance plan, you say that you predict the chances of my success. How do you do this? (Does success mean a live birth?)
We’ve collected more than a million data points from past IVF cycles over the last 30 years and we’ve created an algorithm for predicting the likelihood of IVF success over a maximum 6 rounds. We use the data you provide us when completing your Gaia profile, including your age, weight, height, IVF history, your fertility health and upcoming IVF treatment and calculate your chances of success in line with the historic data we have collected.
Success means taking your child home.
Are there any restrictions? Age? BMI? Other health reasons?
We have to make sure that our Gaia Plans are fair and affordable for you, and that your premiums aren’t too expensive. This means that your predictions have to be above 82% across at least 6 rounds of IVF. Also, we currently can only insure members who have a BMI of 35 or below, as this is currently a requirement from our insurance underwriters. We do not have any restrictions around age or health reasons alone.
How do you know what treatment/medication/scans/extras I might need in order to work out the cost?
Everything involved with the clinical side of your treatment will all be decided by the clinic. We just fix the cost of your treatment for you to include everything that is essential to your IVF treatment. We define this according to HFEA’s traffic light system found here. All monitoring scans, blood tests, embryo freezing of additional embryos, and even medication up until 12 weeks of pregnancy is included in our fixed treatment prices.
Can I get a Gaia Plan at a clinic of my choice?
You can go to any HFEA registered clinic in the UK and select clinics abroad. If you need help deciding on a clinic to go to for your IVF treatment, we are able to support you through the decision making process. We provide personalised 1:1 calls with our Support Team to discuss what clinics might suit you and your fertility journey best.
Do I need to give you any money upfront?
To insure your IVF treatment, you would pay a premium upfront to start each round of IVF you need. These premiums allow us to insure you and all our other Members’ IVF treatments. If you have a child, you will then pay back the IVF treatments you went through in monthly instalments across 12 months with 0% APR. If you do not have a child in your covered rounds, you pay nothing more than your premiums.
When do I need to start paying you back?
You would only pay back the cost of your treatment when you have had a child, in monthly instalments across 12 months with 0% APR. We are working on extending your repayment terms which we expect to be available by June 2023.
How are you different from a refund scheme?
There are 4 main distinctions between Gaia and a refund scheme:
- No full upfront costs. You pay a premium at the start of every round, and only pay back the full cost of your IVF monthly, once you have given birth.
- All inclusive. We include medication in our plans so that you do not have to pay a single invoice to your clinic.
- Only pay for what you need. We are not a multi cycle package, which means if you have a child after 1 round of IVF, you will only pay back the cost of that 1 round.
- Membership support and services. Gaia supports you throughout your entire journey, with access to membership support, a medical advisor, 12 sessions of counselling, and in person and online events.
If you would like to contact the Gaia team, click here or follow them on Instagram @gaiafamilyofficial.