Friday, November 9, 2007

The cost of Infertility: twelve and a half fight back

This my first foray into blogtivism, compliments of Bri over at unwellness. Organized by Mel at Stirrup Queens. Infertility effects 12.5% of the TTC population. Beyond that, the stats get a little fuzzy. Most treatments are not covered under insurance policies because it is not deemed a "medical condition". Leaving many out in the cold, with 2nd mortgages, penniless, and with empty arms hoping for a miracle that will bring them a baby of their own.

The costs of infertility treatments vary by clinic, region, and state. There is no mandated coverage in Ohio, where I live. We do have insurance* that does cover some of our expenses. *We pay ALOT for insurance, over $700 a month through dh's company, which is self insured. That's $8400 a year for our premiums alone. For that cost, they should cover something!
All prescriptions have been covered. We just have a copay that varies based on the type of medication. My last IVF cycle totaled $14000 for the meds ONLY. We paid $500 (two $250 copays, because I needed refills!)
$8200 per IVF cycle. Insurance covered only monitoring- $1100. not ER and ET, and no lab fees (ICSI, AH)
Oh, and we did that twice in 2007.
$8800 for drugs for my first IVF cycle, we paid $250 copay.
$300 for a 2nd opinion (next week!) at another clinic. IVF there runs $20,000.

This year alone, our total for medical expenses above and beyond the $8400 insurance premium comes to $17,700. I'm sure I'm forgetting to include some things in that amount. Like the 2x weekly accupuncture for the 2nd IVF cycle. That was $650.
Or the mileage and copays for all of the dr. appts and blood draws. $500, easily. That brings the amount to $18,850.

There is A LOT of money in the infertility 'business'. Donor eggs and sperm are costly, and mostly unregulated with regards to donor compensation. We are looking at some other options right now. All are expensive. Adopt from Russia= $30,000. Donor Egg IVF= $30,000. Adopt domestically=$20,000. Regular IVF at Big Clinic= $20,000.

There are no guarantees with anything. There is no 'cure'. There is no solution. And there is no mandated infertility coverage. Something has to change.


The Town Criers said...

You could probably buy 4 used cars or one very nice new car for that amount... Sort of makes you ill when you see the number.

Thank you for doing this, Annie.

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