Monday, December 1, 2014

Day 8 - IVF. The new $tatus $ymbol.

I just had my injection protocol to follow today since I didn't have to go in for any testing so I thought I'd use my extra free time talking about the unGodly costs associated with IVF.

Before my first visit to the Fertility Center, I had heard that the average IVF cycle cost approximately $10,000.  This is fairly accurate, but what I did not know was the cost of the medications is additional.  Eye-ye-ye!

When it started to look like we were going to pursue the IVF route, we were provided with a list of procedures, approximate costs, and fees.  We also met with a financial counselor which is a requirement to proceed.  The estimated cost we were provided for a fresh cycle without insurance assist was $9,637.  This includes the cost of blood work and ultrasound monitoring leading up to egg retrieval, the egg retrieval, embryo transfer, and cyropreservation of embryos (if we have extra).  The cost is sliding because the longer the stimulation process takes, the more costs you will incur because of more blood work and ultra sounds.  Conversely, if your follicles are rock stars, you may be ready for retrieval sooner and therefore incur less costs. 

It is my understanding that most people do not have any sort of fertility treatment coverage.  Until recently, Tower and I included.  However, in a round about way, we lucked out.  Earlier this year, Tower lost his job and was unemployed for several months.  In September, just as we were making up our mind as to whether or not we wanted to try IVF, he was offered and accepted a new job.  To our surprise, his new company offered health insurance with fertility treatment assistance.  Score!  Our fertility benefit is $10,000 in assistance per lifetime.  His unemployment was very difficult to get through, especially during our first year of marriage, but in retrospect it has been a blessing in more ways than one.

When we met with the financial counselor, we learned that since our health insurance company does so much business with our Fertility Center, we get special negotiated rates.  What a rip-off and double whammy for people who don't have coverage!  The cost should be the cost!

The financial counselor verified our coverage and stated that cost of the IVF cycle would be significantly lower; perhaps even half of what it would cost if we did not have insurance.  I have not seen an explanation of benefits or bill yet so I am not sure yet what our running tally is and how good of a discount we are receiving.  For those who do not have any insurance, payment is due in full before the cycle begins.  Same goes for the medication, which is outsourced to a pharmacy.  You can read more about the medication costs here

In summary, if we did not have any health insurance benefits towards fertility we would be looking at approximately $9,637 for the IVF cycle and another $6,000+ for the fertility medication.  God, that ain't nothing to balk at!  Over $15,000 for a 45.6% (our Fertility Center's success rate for someone like me) chance at having a baby.  I feel so blessed that we have assistance - which is one of the reasons I was aggressive in pursuing treatment at this time.  You never know when your life can be turned up-side-down and certain resources and options no longer going to be available. 
.......but remember when they do, there's always a new better door waiting to be opened.

-nineteen eighty

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