Sunday, February 20, 2011

Welcome IComLeavWe

Welcome all you IComLeavWe readers and loyal commenters. It is my favorite time of the month again. 
Thanks again to the Stirrups Queen for creating this great way to build support. So you can read my previous posts  below to get to know me. I am very excited to hear from new readers and to catch up with others that I have not heard from in a while. At this time, I am waiting one more month to start my first IVF process. I am anxiously awaiting the rigorous hormone torture. I think what I want to focus on this month is what our Government(USA...I am in California) is doing to help us in the IF community. I was reading this interesting article from one of my favorite bloggers, fertilityauthority. I never knew how much the government can control the future of the infertility research and health coverage. I would also like to know more about how to get better health coverage or at least begin the fight for the future of this community.

1) what has your experience been with getting health coverage for your infertility... In the USA or any where in the world?
2) Do any of you know about how we can participate in this fight to get our government to help us?
3) this article is a must from the Stirrup Queens blog.   Melissa brings up the fine line between  speaking up about infertility so the world is more aware that we are out there and that bringing up and conversing about the subject may help us with health care..but with that brings up many issues because we in return often become  the victims from insensitive and ignorant people. 


  1. over from ICLW--
    1) coverage is radically different even just within the us. between the states that have mandated coverage there are differences (what is mandated, cutoffs, etc) and the states that have no mandated coverage, as well as between employer's insurance plans that run from no coverage (what we had at Dh's last job) to ones that have procedure coverage (what we have now) to ones that cover everything (drugs and procedure).
    2) check out are the national infertility association as you might already know and they have done an advocacy day where you can come to DC to talk to your congressmen (well, staffers, more than likely) about the idea of increased mandated and/or insurance coverage. they also have other info that you can use in contacting your state and national congressmen throughout the year.

  2. Here from ICLW --

    1) I feel so lucky that I was able to get full coverage for IVF through my employer's insurance. Before that, I was on my husband's insurance and everything for all IUIs were covered. I've heard so many stories of those who spend so much money, tapping into retirement, mortgaging futures, just to go through this same struggle. It's so difficult even with everything covered, I can't even imagine how it must feel without that "cushion."

  3. Hey there - sorry for just catching up - I've been MIA for awhile...

    I spent the first year in fertility treatments paying for everything myself - and it sucked! Luckily in November, my hubs got a new job, and with it comes $25K lifetime fertility benefits - amazing! But I feel very lucky...

  4. We are not in a state with mandated coverage and it stinks! Everything is out of pocket after the initial diagnostics. I only know of 2 employers where we live that cover treatment. I think the only way it will change is by people demanding to be heard, which in itself feels like a catch-22 as you mentioned in question #3. I know that I have a medical problem-anovulation- that prevents me from pregnancy and insurance covers nothing. But my insurance covers 100% for selective reduction. Of course the insurance company is looking at that as a way to save money but it feels wrong. It always comes back to the $$$! There have been some famous people who have recently been more vocal about IF and that has helped too. Good luck with your upcoming IVF!

  5. Happy ICLW! I am here from the UK - we do have a sort of free health system that would like to offer '3 cycles' but this comes with strings attached - mainly things like neither of you having a previous child, weight can be an issue - and then there is the 'post-code lottery' I.E. some areas will offer this, others won't so it depends where you live - I think in Scotland there are only 2 hospitals offering fertility treatment so that waiting lists are enormous - years - and you may have to travel long distances. Having said this, I am based in London and my first cycle was only after about a 4 month wait and everything was covered. It isn't called the lottery for nothing. Sending you huge luck for your upcoming cycle xxxxxxxxxxxx

  6. Happy ICLW!

    Wishing you the best of luck with your upcoming IVF cycle. I hope its a success.

    I can't comment much on your questions as I am in Australia and our health care system is totally different to yours...but I can say that the government does not cover enough of the costs for IVF and our Private Health Insurance only covers a small amount so you end up being out of pocket quite a few thousand dollars.

  7. Happy ICLW and good luck for your upcoming cycle :)

    I can't comment on the US but I can comment on the two countries I have lived in

    The UK has really good IVF coverage on the public health system - when I lived there I qualified for 3 fresh & 3 FET cycles while ttc#1 although there was no support if you were trying for your second child. The amount of support varied from county to county depending on the primary care trust you fell under and like Kate said it had huge waiting times... I was lucky and in my PCT it was only a 3-4 month wait list.

    In Australia medicare rebates a certain amount per cycle and private health funds (if you are part of them) are totally dependant on the fund. I am in a good health fund and my cycle breakdown (1st cycle) looks something like this:
    Clinic Fee: $6400 Medicare Refund: $4471.70 PHI Rebate: ~1000 so out of pocket cost for the first fresh cycle in any calander year is about $1000, about $500 for any subsequent cycle.

    There are additional costs such as anaethitist, hospital and consult fees but my PHI covers the gap (the bit medicare doens't pay) 100% so I have no idea of costs. Private health cover for IVF is hit and miss, I am lucky, my fund is awesome and the top cover is an industry leader.