Merchant Innovation

Having A Baby, For Some, Goes The Way Of Subscription

Having a baby can be very expensive work, something that any parent will happily tell you about in great, great detail. However, for those couples who go through fertility issues, among the many difficult emotional and physical trials they must endure, they also get to deal with the fact that the cash register starts ringing early, loudly and often when fertility treatments come into play.

Future Family is a startup that was founded by Claire Tomkins, a Silicon Valley executive who herself went through six rounds of IVF and spent more than $100,000 before she was able to conceive, which left her with a passion to help other families achieve their fertility goals without being bankrupted along the way. Its goal is to make fertility more affordable, particularly when it comes to services like IVF and egg freezing. The company’s original model was small loans, and it is now switching to subscriptions services.

“We need to start talking about fertility earlier, and we need to make fertility healthcare accessible to all women,” Tomkins said in a conversation with PYMNTS earlier this year. “It’s not affordable, it’s confusing and it’s incredibly isolating. We’re bringing personalized care, technology and financing to an industry that is currently servicing a few hundred thousand, but should be helping millions. Future Family is the service I wish I had when I was going through my journey.”

A round of IVF can range in price, but whatever it is, it’s not going to be low: The normal range is between $12,000 – $20,000 per cycle. And that is just the base cost – families can also opt for a few thousand dollars’ worth of chromosomal testing to ensure the fetus is normal, genetically speaking. To help, Future Family started out by offering monthly payment plans for these services. But customer feedback has led the firm to switch things up a bit, allowing customers to create a tailored subscription plan that meets their needs by selecting from offerings to build their own custom packages.

Users can pick what they need when they sign up, and can then modify or add to their plan as their needs evolve throughout the process. For example, a couple might start at egg retrieval and then later opt into genetic testing, a much more manageable change under a subscription program than as part of a loan underwriting process.

“We have now moved from a financing product with concierge to a full subscription model that offers the flexibility of other consumer subscriptions,” a spokesperson for the company told a news outlet. “Contrast this with other financing products that have no flexibility and no customization, and do not even include services like genetic testing.”

Future Family has taken an expansive approach to the family planning market, adding male fertility testing and building out the “Touchpoint” fertility program to include more than 200 clinics. The firm reports that its user base has doubled in the last six months (which would be a more meaningful result, perhaps, if the base usership numbers were known). The firm did report that it has helped “tens of thousands of women, men and couples in all 50 states.”

A subscription package with the firm is a five-year commitment that starts at $150 per month for egg freezing. The plans go up in price and complexity from there.

“Subscription fertility is stress-free fertility. We want to transform people’s fertility experiences,” said Tomkins.

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