baste me

Last month we went to see our new RE.  He wanded me, did some blood work, and had the Husband give a sample.  Then he gave us the Best News Ever:

Husband’s numbers are up, and we are now candidates for IUI!

The RE actually called me himself to give me the news, which I thought was nice — instead of having a nurse or receptionist do it — and he told me to call on my next CD1 to make an appointment for CD3.

I am some kind of Patron Saint of Bad Timing, because CD1 happened over Christmas weekend, and the clinic was still closed on CD3, not to mention we were out of town anyway.  Knowing this was likely to happen, we talked about changing our travel plans, but I called the clinic to check to see what we could do and since they were going to be closed anyway I figured we didn’t need to change our plans.  After all, after 3.5 years of waiting, what’s another month?

Today is CD1 again, which means I should be able to go in on Wednesday and (hopefully) get started with something that, I have heard tell, can occasionally result in pregnancy!  Holy crap.  Clearly rejoicing is in order.

But.

As I think I have mentioned before, my insurance is not covering one red cent of this.*  That first office visit + testing has set us back $608 so far, with another $165 likely after the insurance company denies the claim for the SA (for some reason the clinic thought it would be a good idea to submit that one and have it be denied rather than just have us pay out of pocket).

We have decided that at least for now, we’re going to just go ahead and spend what we need to spend.  We don’t have a lot of extra money, of course , but my husband has a good job, I just started working, and frankly I don’t know how much longer we can wait.  We have very little savings but excellent credit, so we’re going to go ahead and be financially irresponsible and put this stuff on the credit card.  We figure we would rather spend years paying off the debt than spend the rest of our lives never having tried.

So what I’m trying to figure out is, about how much should I expect an IUI cycle to run out of pocket?  Can anyone who has done this help me understand if this is in the ballpark?

  • I figure at least four office visits, two with ultrasound (one on CD3 and at least one to monitor follies, then the actual IUI and the beta).  Each office visit is $278; I’m not entirely sure if they charged us an additional $165 for the ultrasound or if that line item was for some of the blood work.  So that part will probably be somewhere between $556 and $886.
  • The actual IUI procedure is (I think) between $300 and $400.
  • Some quick googling gave me a figure of $1000 for meds — what do you think?  Is this too high?  (Tell me it’s too high.)
  • I assume they will charge separately for the sperm washing.  More googling — $200?
  • $165 for the beta.  (And another $165 each time I have another one — assuming it’s good and I start looking for doubling!)
  • Giving me a grand total of somewhere between $2,221 and $2,861.

Does this sound right to you?  Has anyone paid out of pocket for IUI?  Obviously I’m going to ask the clinic about this, but they were not really very straightforward about the total cost of the first visit — I was not expecting it to be as high as it was, and I’m afraid there will be hidden costs they don’t tell me about.

Like I said above, we are fucking doing this regardless of the cost, but if it’s really going to be close to 3 grand for 1 cycle, I don’t want it to be a surprise.  Especially if I get a giant bill out of the blue after a failed cycle.  (If it’s a success, I will GLADLY carry the debt, of course.)

I hate that I even have to think this way.  I hope it goes without saying that having a baby is more important than the cost, and that as far as I’m concerned this kind of life event is what credit cards are for, but still … I would like to know what we’re going to be looking at.

* They also didn’t cover my husband’s emergency room visit last month.  Tell me again why we’re giving them several hundred dollars every month?

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14 responses to “baste me

  1. I don’t know how much to expect the bill to be, but I wanted to say good luck with it all! And also to say that you’re really smart to emotionally prepare in advance for paying it off if it fails. We’re still paying off our 2010 miscarriage and even though we have our son now, that bill is a kick in the teeth every single month.

  2. Typically, if you have any maternity/OB coverage at all, they will cover the ultrasounds and some of the diagnostics. Ocne you hit betas, they ought to really be covered. If you know what drugs you’ll get, get on the phone. I only too femara which was covered for rheumatoid arthritis (not what it what used for) or something like that. You can also try to get the info from your clinics billing and ask for an estimate for the cycle for billing. Since they want you to be able to pay, they will give you a better ballpark. Also, there are online legit pharmacies for fertility drugs, that have non-ins discounts if you are looking at that $1000 range.

    Great news that you are kicking into high gear. Cant wait to see how things are by mid-week!

  3. What kind of meds do you need? I have a bunch left over from my last IVF cycle that I would be happy to share….You can email me and see if I have anything you need: chunkbee at yahoo dot com
    Hooray for hubs sperm count increase!!

  4. Hi. I just recently found your blog and wanted to let you know I was here.

    I have no idea what the cost for IUI is, but I wish you guys good luck with it! We’re also dealing with MFI, but the chances of us getting high enough numbers for IUI are pretty slim. We’re most likely looking at IVF w/ ICSI, so I understand what you’re saying about being concerned about the cost. Especially if it doesn’t work the first time. But I hope it does for both of us!

  5. We paid out of pocket for our IUI’s and all in was typically around $700. We didn’t use anything but Clomid for ours and the Clomid was only $7.00. The meds are probably going to be more than the actual IUI assuming you’re using injectables. Good luck! 😉

  6. Medication is going to depend entirely on what medications they prescribe for you. Our RE prescribed Gonal-F, Ovidrel & then Crinone for after the IUI. The first IUI round we ended up using almost two whole boxes of the Gonal-F to try to figure out which dose my body responded best at – it was $868 for each box of 1050 iu multi-dose vial, the single shot of Ovidrel was $65 and Crinone was about $200+ per box but some insurances will cover the Crinone because it has other uses. We go through freedom fertility pharmacy per our Dr.’s request.

    I know a lot of RE offices will give some discounts if you pay in cash not sure if your office will do that but never hurts to ask (if you haven’t already of course 😀 ) . We also went the route of putting our meds (after they were no longer covered by insurance stupid lifetime maximums grumble grumble) on our credit card. Just try to view it as an investment in the future – we do a round then try to pay it off, do another round pay it off – so on and so forth.

    Also, I would double-check with your insurance company I can’t believe they wouldn’t cover your beta as anything with pregnancy is typically covered by the majority of insurances 😦

  7. Omg that’s fantastic!! What has your DH been doing to improve his numbers? Anything special?
    I payed OOP for everything except meds and beta. My expenses for my last IUI are as follows:
    1 u/s: $165
    IUI/Sperm Wash: $410
    And that’s it. Not expensive in the grand scheme but a dent just the same, especially when you add in the office visits (my RE doesn’t require a separate office fee for an u/s, but Idk if that’s standard procedure) and tests and meds.
    Either way, I’m super-freaking-excited for you!

  8. Yay for being IUI candidates! The title of this post made me giggle and I’m glad it was indicative of good news for you!

    I can’t offer any real, first-hand advice about the cost of an IUI, but from my second-hand experience, it sounds about right. In my area, it’s a smidge less and barely over $2000. Either way, I love your outlook and hope that it brings you good news very soon!

  9. At my clinic sperm washing/all the sperm portion is $180, the IUI is $233, and the ultrasounds are $301 each. I hope that helps.
    What meds are you taking? Generic Clomid was really inexpensive (under $10) and my insurance covered Femara as it is a breast cancer drug. You shouldn’t pay ~$1,000 for medications unless you are using injectables (in which case you will likely pay somewhere between $1,500-$3,000 per my clinic’s estimate). Also they are way over charging you for betas! My clinic an HCG draw is $59 + a $13 blood draw fee.
    Good luck!!

  10. I can’t weigh in on the costs, as things a bit different in Canuck-land. But I have to say: YEAH! I’m so excited that you are getting back into treatment. Woohoo!

  11. I’ve never actually paid a single cent for beta testing,and I’ve had about 5 blood draws for that in total. I never get my RE’s office to order it, I usually go to my general doctor and they put in the order and the insurance covers it because they cover all pregnancy-related bloodwork. Depends on your healthcare plan though- I work for a university and they have really good plans.

  12. Wonderful news, really wonderful. We paid for the procedures but the other stuff was covered, so I can’t say. My clinic also didn’t do a beta unless you had a positive HPT, so I hope yours is the same and the betas you’ll be paying for will be paid for with joy in your heart. I’d also be curious to know what meds they’re recommending. We did clomid plus the trigger shot, both of which were not covered but were cheap. In any event, I’m excited that you are moving forward, and so hopeful that this one go will be all it takes.

  13. Port of Indecision

    That’s exciting that his numbers are up and you guys can do IUI! I just hate how much the money always has to factor into this and weigh on us. I hope you can find a financially feasible way to make this cycle work.

  14. Hoping the insurance covers a portion – that is a lot to do out of pocket! I can’t believe they didn’t cover an ER visit!!!

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