The $$$ lowdown

I have created a new page on my site that sums up all the costs of our infertility journey so far.  I will keep this up to date as much as possible…I have copied the text from it and pasted it below (or here is the link to the page)

We are very lucky that our medical insurance includes coverage for the treatment of infertility, including IUI and IVF.

We are being open and honest about these costs because it is important for people to understand the difference having insurance coverage can make.  Only 15 states in the US make it mandatory for insurance providers to cover infertility treatment, and even some of those are extremely limited.  There is much debate on whether infertility should be covered as an essential health benefit.  There are many campaigns ongoing to change state law in this regard (www.resolve.org)

There is definitely a lot to be said about the psychology and stress to infertile couples over spending this vast amount of money if they do not have insurance coverage for infertility.  Chris and I find this process stressful enough as it is without the added burden of the actual cost.  I cannot even begin to imagine what it would be like without coverage.  At each stage of our journey we have had to get approval from our insurance company and with having an ‘unexplained’ diagnosis we have always been nervous that they will not cover us.  However, we have been fortunate so far. Fingers crossed they will cover our IVF too.

Item Full cost Insurance covered? Final cost to us
Ovulation Kit (pack of 20) x3 $70.00 No $70.00
Pregnancy Tests (various types) x4 $85.00 No $85.00
Basal Thermometer x1 $13.00 No $13.00
Pre-seed Lubricant x1 $24.00 No $24.00
Chris blood tests $572.00 Yes $10.25
Dani blood tests $560.00 Yes $14.43
Reproductive Endocrinologist Consulting Fees (Doctor visits) x3 $340.00 Yes $5.85
Ultrasounds x4 $900.00 Yes $71.72
Anti-biotics for HSG $15.97 Yes $1.60
Sperm Analysis $110.00 Yes $1.53
HSG $835.00 Yes $29.18
Letrozole x3 $8.53 Yes $0.86
Ovidrel x3 $371.16 Yes $37.11
IUI x3 $765.00 Yes $36.81
Sperm Wash x3 $320.00 Yes $16.80
Progesterone suppositories x3 $147.00 No $147.00
Running Total* $5,136.66   $565.14

A note about our healthcare insurance.  We pay a 10% co-pay for each bill of the ‘in-network’ cost, not necessarily 10% of the whole cost.  Our current infertility clinic (or ‘provider’ as it is also called) is ‘in-network’ so we get extremely preferable rates; for example our new doctor visit it was $190.00, our insurance paid $0, so we paid $0.  This is because our insurance company has negotiated these types of ‘bulk’ discounts in advance with our provider.

Choosing an ‘out of network’ provider can increase overall costs.  There is one other fertility clinic in our area we could have chosen, but is out of network.  It was something we considered, but we went on recommendation and did not think too much about this at the beginning.

Currently my insurance premium is ~$500 a month, plus my employer contributes ~$1100 a month, this covers both Chris and I for all medical expenses including dental and optical.

*As of 10th May 2015

Oh no applicator? Nice one freedom fertility pharmacy…

At my last visit to the fertility clinic I asked the nurse if she had any tips or hints on the progesterone suppositories.  She looked at me funny and said slowly,

‘Well, they are trans-vaginal’.

OK so I got that part, but they look a little awkward to insert?

‘Ohhhh, well it’s easy with the applicator’.

Ahhh, well I don’t seem to have been given an applicator.

‘Oh I am sorry, that’s not really helpful’ the nurse sympathized.

No, not much.  I’ll figure it out.

Last night was the first evening I had to ‘insert’ the progesterone suppository.

Progesterone Suppositories: Greasy little things

Progesterone Suppositories: Greasy little things

I have to take these for at least 14 days just before I go to bed.  These suppositories help to thicken the uterine lining, increasing the chances of a successful implantation.  The suppositories are quite small, certainly no bigger than a small tampon.  They are oily and greasy, feel like a cross between warm candle wax and hair wax.  I think they would melt very quickly if held in your hand longer than a minute.

I forgot to cut my nails.  Mistake #1.

When I started walking it began to fall out, I had not ‘deposited’ it in a suitable place.  Mistake #2.

I am very much aware of the sticky and greasy residue and so have worn a panty liner for most of the day.  When I got home I thought I was done with the leaking.  Mistake #3.

I haven’t had any side effects from the progesterone noticeable as of yet.  I’ve had a sore lower back, but that could be from trying out a standing desk for the last couple of days. Fingers crossed I won’t get any. Ha…famous last words!