IVF refund and IVF money back guarantee programs

Dimitris Kavakas, PhD, MBA
CEO at Redia IVF Travel, Redia IVF Travel

IVF Abroad

IVF Refund Guarantee / Money Back IVF Programmes
From this video you will find out:
  • What exactly is guaranteed – live birth, positive pregnancy test, or heartbeat?
  • Who can benefit from a refund guarantee programme?
  • Do I get a 50% or 100% refund?
  • Eligibility criteria



Are IVF guarantee and refund programs worth considering?

Watch the recording of the webinar on IVF refund and money-back guarantee programs offered by fertility clinics. What exactly is guaranteed? Will I get a full refund? Dimitris Kavakas, an international business development consultant experienced in the fertility travel sector and a CEO at Redia IVF Travel, talks about the topic.

IVF is a unique process in the sense that no matter how good the factors are, no matter if you have the perfect environment and the perfect fertility material, there is no guarantee that you have 100% success, there’s always a percentage of a failure in IVF. All the guarantee programs with refunds consist of several cycles that you need to go through before you will get a refund. On average, a patient needs about 3 cycles to be successful, which is why most of the IVF refund guarantee programs include 3 cycles of IVF.

Money-back guarantee program

Different providers of refund guarantee programs offer different guarantees. Therefore, it is very important to look at what is guaranteed. Is it a guarantee of a positive pregnancy test? This is possible to achieve, but you have to remember that, on average, there is a 15% risk of miscarriage, particularly in the first weeks of pregnancy. If you choose a such program and you miscarry, you will lose your money. Another possible guarantee is a heartbeat or the 3rd month of gestation guarantee. This is much better than the positive pregnancy test, however, there’s a small percentage, around 1 or 2%, that you may face a miscarriage later in the pregnancy. The third option is live birth, and this is what is offered by Redia. And it is a 100% money-back guarantee program.

You need to remember that for this kind of program, there is an age limitation, and there are also programs that are not 100% money-back guarantee programs.

Regarding the benefits of refund guarantee programs, there are 3 main elements. First, these are financial worries, at the end of the day, what you want is a baby, so to reach your desire you need to spend some money on doing IVF. A refund guarantee program can give you a solution, you know the price upfront, so you either get this program and pay a certain amount and you either get your baby or your money back. In the case of people with previous failed cycles, they have already spent some money on their treatments, and they don’t want to spend even more money and don’t know if it is going to work or not. The last factor is your peace of mind, you get financial freedom and get rid of the financial stress so that you can concentrate on your treatment.

Is it a 100% guarantee program? It all depends on the provider of the refund guarantee programs. The programs at Redia include eligibility criteria, the percentage depends on those criteria and the program you choose. If you meet the age criteria and the age criteria are mainly for IVF with own eggs, this is a 100% refund program, and the maximum age is 37. If you are 38 or 39, you are eligible for a 50% refund, and there is no refund program available for IVF with own eggs for women over 40 and over. That doesn’t mean that it’s impossible for someone at the age of 40 or 42 to have a baby with her own eggs, but programs for such patients are not viable because the odds are not good.

In egg donation guarantee programs, there are no age criteria, but they are applied by fertility clinics, therefore, that depends on the fertility clinic where the program is implemented.

Are medication included in the cost? It depends again on the provided, some include them in the cost, and some don’t. The program at Redia includes the costs so that you know exactly how much you will pay for the program.

I think it’s ethical to offer you an all-inclusive program to include all the basic costs, we cannot include the cost that cannot be predicted, but all the possible costs that we know that you will need we include in a program, so you have the financial freedom. We cover the cost of medication, so we either provide them through a partner pharmacy if there is a possibility to use one, or you buy the medication, and we refund the cost.

Case studies

The first case presented a couple who was successful with own eggs IVF on their 3rd cycle. They had 2 transfers in the 1st cycle, but it was not successful. They did a 2nd cycle again, another stimulation cycle, they only had 2 blastocysts, and 1 embryo was transferred but ended in a miscarriage in the first 6-7 weeks of pregnancy. They had a 3rd cycle, only 1 blastocyst, and this produced a pregnancy. It is an established pregnancy past the third month. Hopefully, all will be well, and it will end in a live birth.

Another case was an egg donation program, the first stimulation of the donor went well. They had 5 blastocysts, the first blastocyst was transferred, but it was not successful. The 2nd again was not successful, and then the 3rd transfer was done with 1 blastocyst, and it was a positive pregnancy, but it ended up in a miscarriage. Therefore, the couple moved to the 2nd cycle, and in the 2nd cycle, they got 4 blastocysts, but in the first transfer of the 2 embryos, they achieved a pregnancy, and they had a live birth after 9 months. They have 2 remaining embryos at the clinic, and if they ever decide to go for a second baby, they can just go to the clinic and pay for a frozen transfer and hopefully, they will succeed.

The third case presented a single woman who used egg and sperm donors and reached success in the first cycle. That was a double donation, not an embryo adoption, so the egg donor was stimulated, and all eggs were fertilized with sperm from the donor. Four blastocysts were created in this case, the first transfer failed of the first 2 embryos, but the second, which was a frozen transfer was successful and it ended with a live birth of twins, both of them succeeded.

The decision for transferring 1 or 2 embryos is up to you, it’s not the clinic’s decision or the doctor’s decision, they may recommend the transfer of 1 or 2 embryos based on your age and your medical history, but in the end, it is your decision. If you decide to have a single embryo transfer, you can have as many transfers as needed until you get success one by one.

Finally, the eligibility criteria include a hormonal check, ultrasound check, sperm check and as mentioned before age.

- Questions and Answers

Let’s say, after a couple of months of pregnancy, the doctor advises of miscarrying the baby (due to heart or other problems). In this case, is the money refundable after the three cycles?

Yes, if the miscarriage is a medical reason that the doctor advises to do., You can either continue if that was the first cycle, you continue in the next one or the second. If it’s the last one, you can get your refund, but this is not a voluntary thing, we do not accept abortion as a choice unless there is a serious medical problem. If the baby, as you said in this example, had issues that will not survive, and the doctor advises abortion, so only if, it’s a medical reason.

Do you work with clinics in countries where non-anonymous donation is allowed? Could you give a few cost examples as I believe it may vary from country to country?

We currently work with clinics in more than 10 countries, and we are constantly expanding. At the moment, we use this time of the coronavirus crisis to do some reorganization work and expand the network in many places, including the UK. It is something that we are planning to do very quickly because we don’t have UK clinics yet but, we will be having them very soon. Regarding anonymous and non-anonymous donation, every country has its own legislation. The first non-anonymous donation country that I am thinking about is the UK, but in Portugal, this is the one we work with, and we can have non-anonymous treatment. It depends on the country, for example, in Ukraine, Cyprus or Georgia, this kind of countries they have mixed legislation, so you have an anonymous donation for donors that they provide to you, but you are always free to bring your own donor, so that makes it a known or non-anonymous donation, or you can choose a donor from any donor agency anywhere and send a donor to that clinic, so this kind of countries you can go, if you are looking for non- anonymous donation. For egg donation, you would expect something in the region of 14000 GBP for countries like Greece and the Czech Republic or Ukraine, and you would expect 16,000 GBP or more depending on the clinic because we even have clinics in Spain where it can cost 21,000 or 22,000 GBP, so it depends. The price varies from 15,000-16,000 GBP to more than 20,000 GBP.

Do the immune system blood tests are covered in the money-back guarantee program, for example, MTHF tests or any other tests?

No, immune tests are not covered in the program. Screening tests or extra tests like PGT-A, if it’s needed or anything extra that may occur, is an extra payment, it is not included. The program covers the basic IVF costs like stimulation cost, the monitoring cost, the medication, the transfer cost and the freezing cost.

I am currently on an IVF donor egg guarantee programme with a clinic in Alicante, Spain. I had my first cycle in October last year, but it failed. I am trying to stay positive for my next two attempts, but if they both fail, I have a 100% refund so would the clinic then allow me to use the refund guarantee programme again or would I then look to use another clinic for this guarantee programme?

I don’t know which clinic and which program you’re using, but I can talk about our program where it offers the choice of changing a clinic within the program, so we had cases, in the past, there was a couple that changed the clinic from the first cycle to the second cycle, so if you are in a program, you can change, obviously, if the clinic you want to go, is much more expensive, you’ll have to pay the difference, or you can choose another clinic in the same price range. But you can change the clinics, but also even countries. If a couple is in an egg donation program, has done three cycles which failed though, I don’t think any other guarantee program we’ll take them afterwards because that means there is a serious issue if the issue is of the sperm of the partner, we need to see what is the reason and they need to accept the fact that they will go with a double donation, then yes they can be accepted into a program, but if there is another serious issue and they keep on failing, possibly they won’t be accepted into the problem.

I am 33 years old with AMT 7.9, no underlying health conditions. My husband’s sperm is normal. Will I be allegeable for refund guarantee program in your clinic in London? And if so, will it be full or partial refund?

I don’t have the information about what AMH level if you mean 7.9 ng/ml, yes, you are eligible in that sense, if everything else is fine. We don’t have a clinic in London yet, so you have to wait for a few months, but hopefully, if you get in touch with us, we’ll be soon able to assist, and yes it will be a full refund – 100%. If your AMH is 7.9 pmol/ml, you are way under the limit, which is an AMH 11 pmol/ml.

Are there any recent studies of the babies health that come from Egg donation?

I’m not aware of any studies that mentioned negatively this, I don’t think there is any relation to health issues there. Egg donation is an IVF process, so it doesn’t matter who provides the eggs if the egg donor is healthy. Because we guarantee a refund, we only work with the best clinics, you don’t want to lose your money and we also don’t want to lose ours, so we don’t want to work with dodgy clinics. The clinics we work with, all have very high standards of choosing donors, screening donors genetically, psychologically and medically, so they guarantee that what you’re getting is, a completely healthy egg from a donor, so there have been no issues.

Can you recommend some clinics with guarantee programs? And are those with the better labs? As I understand you mentioned is an important factor per your presentation ‘IVF money-back guarantee programmes – all you need to know’.

The only clinics I can recommend are the ones that we’re partnering with, and we have an agreement with. I cannot recommend any other clinics, not because they’re not good enough, but because I don’t know them. I know the clinics we work with. If you visit our website which is ivftravel.com, there’s a button that says ‘our partner clinics’, and you can find all of our clinics there, so I don’t want to use your time now and make any recommendation, but if you see the list, you will see our clinics.

Do you recommend clinics for patients or do patients choose? Which countries do you work with?

It’s both, I mean if you don’t have a choice, we can help you and recommend it, depending on your profile, and treatment that you need, and your budżet. If somebody asks, we can recommend the clinic which is very good and is over 20,000 GBP, but if you cannot afford that, you will never choose that. So depending on your choices, and your preferences, your profile, we will find the right clinic for you. Currently, we work with Spain, Greece, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, Cyprus, Georgia, we’re working to also expand in the UK, as I’ve mentioned. We work with South Africa, Malaysia, Mexico and India. We are also working on several more countries now as the US, as we are trying to expand the network.

I’m wondering how does it look like from the legal point of view – as I need to sign the documents, the contract – who are the parties of this agreement – how does it work in practice (egg donation program)

We are a company in the UK, and we sign a contract with the patient for the refund guarantee program. The patient signs a contract with the clinic directly for the treatment itself, for each treatment they do. But we sign a contract together, and we guarantee this agreement.

Do any of the clinics that you use offer this programme using a payment plan (I have seen some clinics offer IVF cycles on a pay monthly basis in the UK but I am not sure if they are on guarantee programmes) or does the full cost of the treatment need to be paid in full? How is the system of payment if the person lives in the US?

This is a question that comes up quite often. I’m not sure if there are clinics that offer monthly payment, maybe there are financial organizations in the UK, the clinics that work with financial organizations that offer loans. One thing, you can do is to get a loan, and there are consumer loans available for you, and so you can pay the cost of the program and then you can pay by monthly payments there, I don’t know of any clinics which offers that. What we do, as a company to help, because we are not the financial organization, we are not allowed to offer loans, we ask for 50% deposit, and the remaining 50% can be paid in six monthly instalments. That’s the best we can do to assist, so it is a little bit more affordable to you. We need the 50% deposit because we need to pay the clinic for your treatment, so we cannot offer monthly payments. If you live in the US, we have different systems of payment, the best way to pay is by wire transfer, and there are different companies we work with, like JC Partners, TransferWise, and there are so many other companies that you can pay in the US, in dollars and they transfer the money to our bank here in the UK, so payment is not an issue. In the US, the only real issue we are facing is with medication because, it’s not allowed to ship medication to the US, so that is the issue. You either have to buy the medication there, and we have to exclude the cost of medication from the treatment, or you can make the first visit to the clinic in Europe for a consultation. So you’ll make 2 trips, one visit for a consultation where you’ll get all the medication with you, and then you start your treatment there and come for the transfer back to Europe.

You had mentioned earlier that one may not be accepted for guarantee program if there are past failed cycles. How many failed cycles (with egg donation) would be an issue?

If it’s three or more, it is an issue, as I said. We don’t want to sound like we put strict laws in this because it depends on those cycles, we want to see the reason why. If you go for an egg donation in the UK, where a lot of clinics do egg sharing, so you have shared eggs of another patient who does a cycle. Normally, these are infertile couples, and the eggs are not good, so your chances to succeed are very low, normally in egg sparing it is below 20%. So, if you have failed egg donation cycles in the UK with egg sparing, we will not count that as egg donation, we will accept you into the program, so we don’t want to put some unbreakable laws, we want to see case by case, but usually, if you have three cycles of egg donation within countries that use Young, fertile donors, and you’ve failed, that means there is a serious issue, and we need to see why, if sperm is the issue, we will recommend using a sperm donor, and then we can accept you.

Is it a problem to travel a long way after the treatment, because I would love to go to South Africa for my treatment, only if I can know if the clinic is in Cape Town or Johannesburg? Or can I get that clinic from the website?

Yes, we have both. We have one clinic in Cape Town, which is actually one of the best in Cape Town, and we’re discussing it with a second, so the two best clinics in Cape Town, and one we already work with. In Johannesburg, we work with two clinics. So, you can check them on the website, with one that we are negotiating with is not there yet, but we can give you information on a personal email. Regarding the travelling, it’s not an issue if you would like to spend one more day, usually in short distances like if you travel within Europe, we recommend to stay during the day of the transfer and travel the next day, so we don’t recommend travelling on the same day. If you travel long distances, like South Africa, we recommend you to stay one more day after your transfer.

Do you manage accommodation or anything else included in the money-back guarantee?

No, we don’t want to get into the additional agencies, so I mean we know that this is very simple, there are so many websites offering the accommodation, you can easily find what you want in the budget that you want. We don’t want to get into that, we want to focus on what we know best, and that is IVF in the medical process.
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Dimitris Kavakas, PhD, MBA

Dimitris Kavakas, PhD, MBA

Dimitris Kavakas is an international business development consultant experienced in the fertility travel sector. He's a CEO at Redia IVF Travel, based in London, which focuses on supporting fertility patients in their IVF journey. Dimitris runs IVFtravel.com which offers unique services including refund guarantee packages and installment payment financing to better support IVF patients in travelling abroad for treatment.
Event Moderator
Caroline Kulczycka

Caroline Kulczycka

Caroline Kulczycka is managing MyIVFAnswers.com and has been hosting IVFWEBINARS dedicated to patients struggling with infertility since 2020. She's highly motivated and believes that educating patients so that they can make informed decisions is essential in their IVF journey. In the past, she has been working as an International Patient Coordinator, where she was helping and directing patients on their right path. She also worked in the tourism industry, and dealt with international customers on a daily basis, including working abroad. In her free time, you’ll find her travelling, biking, learning new things, or spending time outdoors.