As I’ve mentioned, we are paying out of pocket for our treatments.  The insurance company wouldn’t even pay for the Pap smear my RE did at our consult in December because it was part of an infertility visit.  Since December 13, we have paid a total of $2,046.86 to our RE’s clinic and the pharmacy down the street.  (I’ve been tracking the costs on my TTC page.)

During that same period we paid $872.04 in insurance premiums.*  My husband’s employer kicked in about twice that much, meaning the insurance company has taken in $2,616.12 on our behalf.

They have paid out $0.

I have a full-time job.  I make $9.50 per hour.  This means that before taxes, I make $380 per week.**  After taxes, I take home $331.67.

More than half of my wages go directly to my RE.

And I am in a position of incredible privilege, that we’re able to live on my husband’s salary.  If we needed two incomes to make rent, like most families do, there would be no way we could afford this.  We would have to give up.

But the insurance company would still have its $2,616.12.

* And I thank my lucky stars our premiums are as low as they are.

** That’s on a week when I don’t lose any hours to doctor’s appointments — and even though our appointments are always at 7:15 or 7:30 a.m., the clinic is far enough away that I lose an hour or more of work each time.  Let us not even speak of all the extra gas we consume driving to and from the clinic.


12 responses to “arithmetic

  1. I hear you! My husband’s insurance doesn’t cover SA’s or any of the medications he has to take–which aren’t cheap! Fortunately, they have covered the bloodwork, so far. My insurance is a little better, and I’ve only had to pay a co-pay for visits to the RE (of course, we haven’t done any of the expensive stuff yet, like freezing sperm or IVF, which won’t be covered). And I haven’t gotten a bill for the HSG yet. Ugh, I don’t even like to think about it. But you’re right, we are very lucky that we can afford any of it. Because I don’t know what I would do if we couldn’t.

    • It makes me so angry that insurance companies are able in effect to decide which body parts to cover. Your heart? Yeah, usually covered. Working reproductive parts? Not so necessary. It’s ghoulish, really.

  2. I second that! My insurance stopped paying for anything once I was labeled infertile. It’s really unfortunate. It occurred to me the other day that I am basically working to get pregnant. Pretty much every dollar I earn goes towards medication, ultrasounds, and other tests. Luckily, we can afford to live on my husband’s salary, but it would be so nice if the insurance that we pay monthly for would actually help us out a little bit. So frustrating!!!

    • I hear you on “working to get pregnant.” Sometimes I think about all the things I could do with my wages instead: pay down student loan debt, save for my hypothetical child’s college education, travel, buy Radiohead tickets (hey, I didn’t say I was 100% a grownup). It’s like I don’t get to have kids, but I don’t get to have the supposed “freedom” and “extra income” that is supposed to come with childlessness either.

  3. I marvel at people who’s states or countries or just plain insurance companies pay for any portion of IVF. I’ve been paying out of pocket since September and am probably right around $2k also. About to add another 20 to that…and like you, thank goodness we can! I don’t know what we would do otherwise.

  4. Our insurance company paid only a small portion of our IUIs, up to 6 lifetime, and paid for nothing beyond that. We recently filed our tax returns for 2011 and claimed nearly $40K in out-of-pocket medical expenses. Our boys are worth every penny, but it chaps my hide that our insurance didn’t pay a dime towards our IVF cycle.

    • Wow. $40K in one year. That is sobering indeed. I can’t even imagine. Like you said, though, the boys are worth it. I just wish we didn’t have to put a price tag on getting to parenthood. Congratulations to you, by the way, as I don’t think I’ve said it on your blog yet.

  5. Exactly*! We were lucky that the problems were all mine so we didn’t need IUI or IVF. I studied the blogs of people with issues like my own for months and kept track of their treatment protocols to devise my own rather than see a doctor. Then we got my fertility meds from a shady online “pharmacy” and then later when those ran out, from people on a message board who were selling their extras. Not covering treatments either leaves the poor childless or drives people to do inadvisable things with their health.

    (*Though as a disclaimer, I admit that we actually don’t even have insurance. Thanks to higher premiums for preexisting conditions, we spend less on our healthcare if we go without it. It doesn’t make a bit of difference here because the plans we could get didn’t cover IF treatments anyway.)

    • Yes, exactly! “Not covering treatments either leaves the poor childless or drives people to do inadvisable things with their health.” By not covering treatments we are setting a means test on parenthood that goes beyond even the existing means test for heath (i.e. only those who can afford insurance deserve any health care at all). Thank you for sharing here what you have done — it sounds like you have been very resourceful and if we end up on anything more expensive than Clomid I may do some of the same things.

  6. Extra awesome is the fact that my husband works in the insurance industry. We were able to afford our IUIs because of the racket that exploits us and others like us. Dude. I’m sorry this is part of your life, and even sorrier for the women who aren’t as lucky as we are.

  7. I got a bill from my doctor for $300 because I discussed my PCOS and infertility with my doctor. *Discussed* not received any exams or any treatments. I tried to fight the way they coded it so that insurance would cover it but they wouldn’t budge. I’m very lucky that this was the extent of my experience with our horrid health care system and fertility treatments. I’m sorry that you have had to deal with this for so long.

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