Egg Donation Program
More Fair and Affordable Egg Donation: Pricing Structure of CHR’s Standard Donor Egg Program (SDEP)
Starting August 1, 2016, in CHR’s Standard Egg Donor Program (SDEP), egg donors are reimbursed based on the number of eggs they produce, while recipients pay for donor eggs based on the number of mature eggs they decide to receive from the donor. In most IVF centers performing fresh egg donor cycles, recipients pay a set fee for each egg donation cycle, regardless of the number of eggs they receive. Similarly, donors are compensated with a same set fee regardless of the number of eggs they produce. At CHR, we have modified our egg donor program fee structure to make it fairer to both parties and potentially more affordable to recipients who want to hold the cost down by limiting the number of eggs they “purchase.”
CHR considers the commercial trade in human oocytes with considerable ethical concerns. As such, CHR does not derive profit from managing the process of egg donation between donor and recipient, and will continue to offer donor matching services as an unreimbursed courtesy to the center’s patients. CHR, therefore, will price the anonymous exchange of eggs between donors and recipients in its program at cost, and without profit margin.
Principles of the Egg Donor Pricing
CHR came to the new donor egg cost structure by looking at the center’s historical data. We determined that on average, fresh donor egg cycles produced about 10 mature oocytes. Considering that CHR for has maintained a reimbursement rate of $8,000 to egg donors for one egg donation cycle, regardless of the number of eggs produced, the average reimbursement for donors was $800 per egg, historically. We then calculated CHR’s overhead costs in maintaining an independent pool of over 200 egg donors, and came to approximately $200-$250 per egg. Combined, $800 and $200-250 then established a cost for recipients of $1,000 to $1,050 per egg.
CHR, thus, in principle has not changed the pricing of fresh donor eggs but now distributes benefits and risks more fairly to donors and recipients.
What Recipients Need to Know
Starting August 1, 2016, once recipients choose an egg donor a deposit of $8,000 in anonymous escrow for donor reimbursement is required. For this reimbursement, they will be entitled to 8 mature oocytes. Should they wish to receive more eggs, they will have to make a balance payment to CHR for those additional mature eggs, per listed recipient charges below prior to cycle start. If a donor produces fewer than 8 mature oocytes, the recipient will be entitled to a proportional refund.
Under this new pricing scheme, recipients can benefit from a fairer egg donation fee structure, with all cycle fees being normalized to the number of mature oocytes a patient chooses to “purchase.” A recipient who, under the previous cost structure, would “purchase” all mature eggs her donor produced, now has the option to “purchase” as few as 4 eggs up to all the eggs that her donor produces. If she purchases only 4 eggs, she will greatly reduce her cycle costs, while still experiencing an excellent pregnancy chance from eggs from a young donor. At the other extreme, recipients who want to purchase all of the donor’s eggs in a given cycle, likely, will have higher cycle costs than in the past but will not only have the advantage of a higher cumulative pregnancy chance but also the chance of having frozen embryos for future siblings to a first child.
The table below describes the donor compensation and recipient charge, based on the number of eggs produced and received:
Donor Compensation and Recipient Charge
|Number of Mature Oocytes||Donor Reimbursements||Recipient Charge|
|≥15 / 15||$12,000||$15,500|
What Egg Donors Need to Know
Starting August 1, 2016, egg donors are guaranteed $8,000 for a donation, as long as they produce at least 10 mature oocytes (the average number of eggs donors have produced at CHR in the past). If they produce fewer mature oocytes, their donor fee will be reduced proportionally in accordance with the listed donor reimbursements above. If they produce more, they can increase their cycle reimbursement to up to $12,000 for 15 or more mature oocytes. We hope that this new reimbursement schedule will motivate CHR’s egg donors even more than in the past to maximize their cycle performance.
Donors will be informed about the number of mature oocytes they produced on the day after egg retrieval since some immature oocytes may still mature overnight. The timing of donor payments remains unchanged. The table describes the new donor reimbursement schedule and recipient charges for varying oocyte numbers.
Potential Additional Egg Donor Income & Recipient Expenses
Cost reimbursements for travel and maintenance in New York City for long-distance donors will remain unchanged. Long-distance donors will remain marked in CHR’s donor pool, so that recipients will be aware of these additional donor costs for travel.
To further recognize varying “market values” of donors, CHR also introduces a new option, already widely used by many donor agencies and donor egg banks, by designating the so-called “high demand donors” (HDDs) who will be allowed to charge additional donor fees of either $1,000 or $2,000. Once donors are designated as HDDs, they, at their choosing, will be permitted to charge these additional fees. Based on market forces, however, some donors may choose not to do so in order to be matched more quickly.
Eligibility for the designation of HDD will be determined by CHR, based on successful prior completion of at least one IVF cycle and/or special educational or other demand-enhancing achievements and/or qualities. To make recipients aware of these designation, donors awarded the HDD designation are also marked accordingly in CHR’s donor listing.
All other donor egg cycle costs remain unchanged. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have further questions about our reorganized SDEP.
Innovative, Fair & Affordable Egg Donor Program Fee Structure: Background
CHR decided to radically reorganize structure and costs of its Standard Donor Egg Program (SDEP) this way, as a logical consequence of two recent national developments with profound new implications for egg donation in the U.S, and because rising costs increasingly price patients out of fresh donor egg cycles,. In full disclosure, we here describe changes made in the program, their motivations and the new cost structure. The two national developments creating the impetus were:
- Following settlement of a class action suit, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) withdrew its previous recommendation as to how much IVF centers should pay egg donors for their services per donation cycle. The suit claimed the right of egg donors to let the market determine donor reimbursements. The legal settlement reaffirmed this principle, and CHR, therefore, feels legally obliged to consider market pricing in reformatting its donor egg/recipient cycle program.
- Within a very short time period, frozen egg banks by 2015 have already been supplying eggs for ca. 20% of donor egg cycles in the U.S., even though frozen eggs reduce donor cycle pregnancy chances to a minor degree in comparison to fresh donor eggs. In CHR’s SDEP, patients in return for a $8,000.00 fee used to receive all eggs a donor produced in her cycle, whatever the number was. Donor egg banks, however, have established “commerce” in donor eggs by charging per “sold” mature egg(s).
Donor egg banks have established a market value for donor eggs. Considering this fact and the legal settlement, CHR’s past cost structure no longer appeared fair to either donors or recipients: Instead of a fixed fee per donation, donors should be paid proportionally to their egg production, while recipients should be responsible for fees proportionally to the number of eggs they receive in a cycle. In full disclosure, we above offer a detailed description of the new financial structure for oocyte donors and recipients.
Norbert Gleicher, MD, leads CHR’s clinical and research efforts as Medical Director and Chief Scientist. A world-renowned reproductive endocrinologist, Dr. Gleicher has published hundreds of peer-reviewed papers and lectured globally while keeping an active clinical career focused on ovarian aging, immunological issues and other difficult cases of infertility.
Last Updated: October 8, 2018