A complicated tale of research
This is a tale of two fertility clinics. I do not want to use names, so I’ll call them Clinic Alpha and Clinic Beta here.
My gynecologist referred me to Clinic Alpha first. I had an initial consultation with them last month. Clinic Alpha gave me books and white papers, took blood, and poked at my privates to make sure everything is OK. Thankfully, everything is, in fact, OK. Fantastic!
Clinic Alpha and my insurance both confirmed that none of this endeavor would be covered unless I could prove that I have been trying to have a baby for 2 years. Fine. I could accept that.
I asked Clinic Alpha for clarification on what I would need to do from now until conception and how much (roughly) each step would cost. Long story short, that was not a simple answer. It was not a single answer, in fact, and in a couple of cases, the answers I got contradicted each other.
Moreover, I was told that I would have to pay for each step up front — to the point where I could not even speak to anyone but the financial department without paying them something.
I do not want to rant too much, but suffice it to say, I was feeling a bit uncomfortable with Clinic Alpha at this point.
Getting Started, v2.0
I called Clinic Beta today. I gave them the brief overview of what I have done so far and my issues with Clinic Alpha. Clinic Beta confirmed that they do take my insurance, but I would need to call my insurance company for the nitty gritty details.
So, back to the insurance company. This time, they told me that, while IVF is definitely not covered under my plan, artificial insemination (IUI) is. In fact, it is covered 100% and in-network doctor visits would end up being billed as specialist visits, in which case I would only have to pay a copay.
Well… that’s different.
That could also work. Assuming my girl parts are as amazing as the Clinic Alpha doctor seems to think they are, all I may need is IUI.
I grilled the (extremely helpful and patient) insurance rep with so many questions and then asked her to send me all of this information to my email, so that I would have a copy of this coverage in writing. (She did.)
Long story short, I can go to Clinic Beta with my initial test results from Clinic Alpha and, ideally, have the rest of this endeavor be covered under insurance.
Of course, this assumes that artificial insemination will work and I will not need to go the IVF route. This plan seems feasible so far, but it’s still very, very early.
- Breathe. My financial anxiety has decreased a lot after that second call with the insurance company, and especially now that I have that information in writing.
- Call Clinic Alpha to get hard copies of my initial test results from them. That should be an interesting conversation.
- Meet with Clinic Beta.
- Hope the science experiment I am performing on my body all goes to plan. I give this 50/50 odds that we stick to this plan.