Egg Donation Program
More Fair and Affordable Egg Donation: Pricing Structure of CHR’s Standard Donor Egg Program (SDEP)
CHR’s Standard Egg Donor Program (SDEP) has an innovative egg donation fee structure that is fair to both donors and recipients. In this program, 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. This meant that some recipients whose donors happened to produce fewer-than-average eggs end up having to pay far more on a per-egg basis, while other recipients ended up with far more eggs for the same price. Similarly, donors are compensated with a same set fee regardless of the number of eggs they produce.
At CHR, we designed our egg donor program fee structure to make it fair to both parties. This egg donation fee structure also makes egg donation more affordable to recipients who want to hold down the cost 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.
What Recipients Need to Know
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 (eggs) from the chosen donor. Should they wish to receive more eggs, recipients 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. 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 egg donation cost for recipients, based on the number of eggs produced and received:
Egg Donation Cost for Recipients per Donor Egg
|Number of Mature Oocytes||Recipient Charge|
Potential Additional Expenses for Recipients of Donor Eggs
There are two additional expenses that recipients may incur, depending on the donor they choose: Costs of long-distance donors (LDDs) and high-demand donors (HDDs). Long-distance donors (LDDs) are egg donors who have to travel to New York City for their egg donation cycle from elsewhere in the United States. Recipients will be responsible for cost reimbursements for travel and maintenance in New York City for LDDs. LDDs are marked as such in CHR’s donor pool, so that recipients will be aware of these additional donor costs for travel when choosing their donors.
To further recognize varying “market values” of donors, CHR introduced 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.
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.
Background for CHR’s New Egg Donation Cost Structure
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.
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 has historically 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. 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.
Last Updated: November 8, 2016