Friday, October 18, 2013

Honey, Did You Remember to Water the Money Tree Yesterday?

I should preface this entry by saying that I’m slightly jealous of those that don’t have to pay for their fertility treatments.  A lot of people seem to get it paid for by insurance.  Thanks to Mr. Obama (literally), we will not be getting any help on our treatments…ever.  The first cycle was completely out-of-pocket because neither of our insurance companies covered IVF.  However, for 2014, Todd’s company was considering adding at least some type of a benefit; most likely, it would have been a $10,000 lifetime benefit, meaning they would pay $10,000 for infertility over the course of our lives (roughly ½ of a cycle).  However, due to Obamacare and the increases in premiums, they have decided not to add this benefit at all.  Therefore, I’m jealous of those that have had any sort of help financially, and I just needed to admit it and get it off my chest.  All I want to do is get pregnant, and they charge us a bundle to do it.  Again, thank you, Mr. Obama.  This is much appreciated.
Anyway, I said I would give a breakdown of what IVF cost us.  Keep in mind, this does not include any of the expenses of my Laparoscopy & Hysteroscopy in August or the months of Lupron shots.  Some of that was covered by insurance, but there was still a considerable amount out-of-pocket, as in roughly $3,700.  Also, this does not include the 15 months of vitamins I’ve been taking.  Those get pricey when there is an average of 20 pills each day.

Our out-of-pocket expenses for IVF, Cycle 1:
Todd's initial urology consultation
all IVF shots
Todd's sperm retrieval
Dr. Bundren – IVF ultrasounds, blood work, & retrieval
Integris Bennett Fertility Institute – retrieval & transfer
anesthesia during retrieval
Dr. Kallenberger, MD – transfer
ICSI of less than 10 eggs
Progesterone & hCG checks

Here are 3 charges that we were able to save some money on, which will most likely be added back to this next cycle. 
1)      We were really lucky in that my insurance decided to pick up the cost of a couple of my shots.  We are unsure why, unless they didn’t realize it was for IVF.  I didn’t complain, though. 
2)      Also, a very sweet, dear, beloved (need I say more?) friend gave us some of her unused drugs.  Unfortunately, I was not allowed to use the Progesterone because it wouldn’t be like the others I would use when those ran out.  However, I was able to save by using her Follistim shots. 
3)      Last, we did not have any embryos to freeze, so the cryopreservation was not an expense the first time and may/may not be the second time.
paid by insurance for medication
Follistim from Michelle
cryopreservation of embryos
Total for IVF with all expenses

If we had incurred those 3 expenses on top of everything else, we would have ended up with a bill of $19,597.47.  That is roughly what IVF will cost a couple with no fertility coverage in Tulsa, OK.  Now, since that cycle has passed, I’ve heard of people finding places where they can pay $25,000 for 3 cycles.  If we had known about that, we probably would have done it.  I don’t know all of the details, though, so I won’t let it worry me.

Todd and I have made sure not to incur any debt from IVF.  We have agreed to save all of the money for each cycle before we embark on it; that way, we do not have to borrow any money from anyone.  I know there are several programs that will offer loans for this type of situation, but we paid off all of our debt a few years ago.  At this point, we refuse to put anything on credit.  We have nothing against those that do take out a loan for infertility.  Sometimes, it’s the only way.  This is just a personal decision we have made, and we are fortunate that our jobs pay us in a matter that will allow us to do this.

Now, you may know why I’m nervous about having another failed round.

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