See if you qualify for free egg freezing.
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Maybe you already know the ins and outs of egg freezing, or maybe not — but (especially if you’re a med student), the question remains: how can you afford it? Or, better yet, could your school possibly even offer egg freezing as an insurance benefit? 

The answer? It depends, and it may differ whether you’re a student or faculty member. In this article, we’ll share an overview of egg freezing and the costs involved, why egg freezing is especially important to consider as a female in medicine, and what kind of egg freezing benefits universities may offer medical students and faculty. 

Why you should care about egg freezing

First things first: what even is egg freezing, and why should we talk about it? Egg freezing is a procedure where your eggs are extracted, frozen, and stored for later use. While you may not end up needing them, if you do end up facing fertility challenges or decide to pursue donor sperm to grow your family, you can thaw your previously frozen eggs and fertilize them with sperm. This will, hopefully, lead to those eggs becoming embryos that can then be transferred to your uterus and ideally, result in a pregnancy. 

Data tells us that the younger eggs are, the healthier and higher quality they are. Our egg quantity also declines with age, so if you’re going to freeze your eggs, freezing at an earlier age is ideal and increases the likelihood of conceiving a biological child in the future. 

Female physicians face infertility at a higher rate

We hate to report this, but a recent study indicated that roughly 25% of female doctors trying to conceive face fertility challenges — just about double the rate of the general public. The rate of pregnancy loss among female surgeons is equally concerning; at 42%, this compares to the rate among the general public of 1 in 4 pregnancies ending in some sort of loss.

“Roughly 25% of female doctors trying to conceive face fertility challenges — just about double the rate of the general public.”

There are many factors that contribute to these statistics. For starters, female physicians are more likely to delay family building due to pursuing their medical education and residency. Depending on the specialty, many doctors will be well into their 30s before beginning to try for their first child. And, as previously explained, age can impact egg quality and quantity down the line. Combine this with the strain caused by the grueling lifestyle of residency, and the impact of a medical track upon a female physician’s fertility becomes even clearer.

Egg freezing coverage for med students and faculty

Before jumping into specifics around egg freezing coverage, it’s important to understand the concept of university healthcare insurance, especially for students.  

How university healthcare coverage works

Many higher education institutions offer health insurance plans to their students, either through the university itself or by facilitating access to external plans. These plans typically cover essential medical services, preventive care, and, in some cases, mental health services.

University health insurance plans usually operate on an annual basis. Students are required to enroll in or waive coverage at the beginning of each academic year. The cost of coverage is often included in tuition and fees, and coverage extends throughout the academic year, including breaks. Some plans also cover services rendered off-campus, providing flexibility for students studying abroad or residing off-campus.

However, the extent and details of coverage vary widely among university health insurance plans, and there are even various state-by-state regulations that govern what’s allowed. 

Egg freezing coverage for med students

So, if we know that medical professionals are more likely to experience fertility challenges, surely there must be sweeping, extensive egg freezing coverage to help them get ahead of it, right? These individuals are sacrificing their time, their livelihoods, their sleep, and their bank accounts to take care of us — so of course they’re being taken care of too, yes? 

For students, unfortunately, the answer is no. 

Typically, as part of university healthcare plans, elective procedures (chosen by the patient vs. being deemed “medically necessary”) such as proactive egg freezing are not covered. And, while many university healthcare institutions do have their own in-house fertility clinics with reproductive endocrinologists on staff conducting assisted reproductive technology (ART) procedures daily, these services are not subsidized for students. 

Non-elective procedures that may be covered, on the other hand, might include things like egg freezing as a result of a cancer diagnosis. Some schools may even include infertility treatment as part of their student healthcare coverage. It’s essential for students to review their specific plan details to understand the scope of coverage and any potential gaps in benefits. 

One 2022 study found that only one medical school provides coverage for elective fertility preservation. Unfortunately, however, at the time of writing, we were not able to confirm which school is referenced (if this is your school — we want to hear about it!).

It is worth noting that some private fertility clinics will subsidize costs for med students, residents, or fellows, in recognition of the unique additional hardships that they face when it comes to family building. At the time of writing this, Massachusetts-based Boston IVF, for example, currently offers 25% off one egg freezing cycle plus 15% off medication through VFP Pharmacy Group for those individuals. With many locations nationwide, Shady Grove also offers a discount on egg freezing cycles (including monitoring, retrieval, and freezing) for surgical residents across various specialties. Their site is not clear on the exact discount, but you may contact for the most up-to-date information. 

Egg freezing coverage for med school faculty

Like many employers, to entice the best and brightest minds, medical universities often tout the benefits that come along with working on staff. This includes healthcare coverage, and those plans may include some degree of fertility and family-building coverage. Johns Hopkins, the University of Maryland, and the University of Michigan (to name a few) all provide faculty with the option of enrolling in their insurance plans that include fertility treatment coverage.

That being said, for egg freezing in particular, even for med school faculty it still has to be deemed “medically necessary” vs. “elective” in order to be covered within these plans. Instead, the healthcare coverage that’s usually provided tends to focus primarily on services for those trying to conceive — hormonal, IUI, or IVF treatment and medication. 

How to freeze your eggs more affordably

Given that elective egg freezing coverage — even for med students and faculty — tends to remain an out of pocket expense, you’re probably wondering how to afford the costs. Depending on where you’re located, your clinic, and your medication protocol, average egg freezing cycle costs can range anywhere from $10,000 - $20,000, plus annual storage fees. 

That being said, there are various ways to lighten the load of egg freezing costs, including financing, using money from your flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA), crowdfunding, and more. 

With Cofertility, though, you may be able to freeze your eggs completely for free if you donate half of the eggs retrieved to another family who can’t conceive through our Split program. This may include LGBTQ+ intended parents, those with infertility, or cancer survivors who want to grow their family. 

If you’re interested in learning more about our Split program, take our one-minute quiz to see if you’re eligible and get started. 

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