While some may so Mo Money Mo Problems, I’d argue Less Money, Also Mo Problems. The cost of IVF and other Assistive Reproductive Technologies (ART) can be a huge financial burden on individuals and couples trying to have a family. To be honest, one of the first things I thought of after our first chemical pregnancy, was oh shit, we can’t afford IVF. Yeah, I jumped all the way there. You’ll notice, I do that. A lot. I definitely should have slowed my roll and not assumed we’d get to that point, but I didn’t and alas, we did.
I’ve mentioned before, but I am very lucky with my medical coverage at work. After I met with the fertility specialist, even before tests or any appointments, they had me call and verify my coverage, so I knew what to expect, and so, I think they could advise me correctly. When I called the insurance company, they essentially told me everything needed for ART is covered. And I was like, huh? *Turns out, that is not entirely true, but still covers a lot.
Figuring out the insurance coverage and the costs you might need while already in a swarm of stress and emotions is so overwhelming. I also had the added factor of living in one state and working in another. It has made me almost light phones on fire on multiple occasions in the last year and a half. If one more person said well your doctor is in Massachusetts and the coverage is in NH so you’ll have to call them; or the other way around, I was going to flip all the tables. I know I am not the only one who does this commute, and the plan is supposed to be New England, even though it originates out of New Hampshire. But this has been a huge stressor for me this entire time. Just trying to get a straight answer so I can plan. I am a budgeter and this is not like a little amount of money you can just pull out of your back pocket. Well, for us it definitely isn’t. Also, we are planning for other life things like houses and whatnot. So, yeah.
Once we went through the tests and determined our plan was to go for IVF, the doctor’s office got the preauthorization processed and luckily that went through fine. The part we anticipated they wouldn’t cover was the PGS (Preimplantation Genetic Screening). But still, we had hopes. The Dr. highly recommended we consider doing it, especially I was expecting I would be an emotional wreck if we experienced another loss through this process (which is possible either way). And I was like…have you met me? Of course I would be. But, we didn’t want to do it just for that. It does highly increase the likelihood of a successful pregnancy, because your not implanting any embryos that are abnormal and would result automatically in a miscarriage. Since in our particular case, we are able to get pregnant, and have no existing conditions that is the cause of our issue, the doctor thinks this is our best route and I agree. But it still stabs you in the heart and the wallet when you realize the cost.
They legit do it in levels. So you want to have lots of embryos so that the numbers are in your favor, but the more you have, the more it costs to test them. They charge you the middle price, then if you have less you get money back and if you have more…they bill you. I guess, if you are feeling bummed you don’t have a lot of embryos you can say to yourself, “At least we will get money back???” Of course as expected our PGS got denied. Got a letter from the Massachusetts insurance company office, sent my appeal there. Then never heard, when I called to ask about it, they had no records of it and told me it should go to NH. Even though I wrote the appeal to the address written in the letter I received stating the denial and where to appeal. GREEEEEEEAT. Luckily the NH office did actually get my letter forwarded, but it was still denied. I made a bomb ass argument too, if I do say so myself. But still didn’t fall within the criteria, so no dice.
So, we’ve got a cool $3300 out the window for that, maybe $5000, maybe less. Then I get an email with a bunch of paperwork via email with the super nonchalant hey sign things. I open it and it says if cryopreservation isn’t covered by your insurance you will be billed $1000 PLUS $85 for storage. And I was like, listen, I sign contracts for a living, so I am not just willy nilly signing this nonsense. 1739402729403 hours on the phone with insurance company people, doctor’s office, ivf clinic, talking to coworkers later, and I had 0 answers. Based on what I read, it should be covered when done for an active IVF cycle for a scheduled implantation, just not if it is done to be saved for a hypothetical person or date. Everyone essentially told me it is covered by Mass plans, but for NH plans it is not. And since my plan is NH, I’m on the outs. Live Free or Die my butt! But basically, needed to plan for paying that money too.
So we are looking at $4000-$6000 in costs for this plus deductible, copays up the wazoo, etc. I upped our Healthcare Spending Account by about 6 times what I did last year anticipating. But it is April, and it is already gone. So, there’s that.
But this is NOTHING compared to what some people need to do for IVF. The average cost of a fresh (not frozen #wendys) cycle is $12,000. Plus $3000-5000 for the medication you need to do the procedure. Then add on top of that if you are required to or opt into do the screening for specific diseases or abnormalities. You are looking at a crisp $20Gs to ATTEMPT to have a baby. The success rate on average for an IVF cycle is 40%, obvi depending on age and other medical circumstances. But STILL. DAMN. 20 stacks…before (hopefully) having a baby and then needing to figure out to to pay for that little nugget once they exist. When I think about all the people who legit slip and fall on their hubby and get knocked up…My side eye is so aggressive I might tip over.
The emotional, physical, and financial toll if takes on you to go through this process is a lot. But I am also beyond grateful to be in a position where while it is a challenge to come up with the $4-6k we need to begin the process, that is a whole helluva lot better than the $20k average.
So, yeah, that tax return I got this year. #Embryos #ThanksGovernment