When you first think of why someone might take out a personal loan, it’s likely that buying a car, taking a once-in-a-lifetime holiday overseas or paying for home renovations will come to mind. While these have traditionally been common reasons to seek a personal loan, new trends have begun to emerge in recent years. One trend noted by SocietyOne CEO Mark Jones over the last couple of years has been a “significant increase in personal loans used for medical use, and in particular to fund IVF treatments”.
Research by the University of New South Wales has found that just one in five IVF cycles leads to a live birth, meaning that the process of conceiving a child using IVF can not only take time, but can, in many cases, lead to high out of pocket expenses. On average, an IVF cycle costs around $10,000, with additional costs, including the collection of eggs, required medications and the embryo transfer process, pushing costs even higher. In Australia, patients receive around half of the base cost back from Medicare, but this still does leave a high out-of-pocket balance.
“Australians are increasingly seeking out greater financial stability and career success before starting to have children,” Jones noted. “However, fertility rates aren’t necessarily increasing in line with this. This means couples may need the added help of medical intervention, such as IVF, in order to fall pregnant.”
With more than 15,000 babies born in Australia conceived using IVF each year, it’s an issue that continues to touch the lives of many. For one Australian couple, Annie and Neal Krempin, the journey to welcome another child into their family not only took eight years and five rounds of IVF treatment, but led to around $45,000 in out-of-pocket expenses.
Describing the process of bringing baby Leonardo into the world, Mrs Krempin said “It was an exhausting and expensive process, despite saving for a long time in advance and being gifted money from family”.
“We didn’t have IVF cover on our health insurance and were surprised by how low the IVF rebate was considering I had medical reasons for needing IVF,” Mrs Krempin said.
“In the end, every round cost us approximately $9000 out of pocket when adding up medication, doctor appointments, ultrasounds, blood tests, day surgery, anaesthetic and testing.” Close to giving up due to the emotional, physical and financial strain, it was the final round of IVF that delivered Mr and Mrs Krempin their greatest wish - a baby brother for their first child Michael.
Visit our personal loans page to learn how SocietyOne can help you cover the unexpected costs in life, from visa fees and vet bills to IVF treatments.