Can I just take a moment to comment on the ridiculousness of health insurance in this country?
I’m lucky in many many ways – I’m in a state covered by the infertility mandate and our insurance is quite good. I can’t imagine going through all these treatments and constantly having to check in about the financial status (and hats off to anyone who is doing that!). It’s not perfect and our out of pocket costs are still significant (one of my summer projects is tabulating infertility expenses). Also our HSA provider has been less than amazing*.
Fundamentally, I find it so strange that, for so many people, infertility isn’t covered. It is an actual medical issue with medical diagnoses. And the resolution and treatments are not exactly something that’s solved without, you know, actual medicine.
Also as a PSA to all those people who think that IVF is a ‘luxury’ fancy treatment: No one wants to go through IVF. The whole process is hell. Why would anyone voluntarily choose this path??!
Why is contraceptive, fertility, maternal and pre-natal health is all considered costs to women and a burden on men? Last I checked, for anyone of those, a man was involved to create a baby. Why isn’t the insurance bill split between the two? It’s always treated as a women’s issue but a lot of it seems joint to me. Isn’t it in both parties interests to ensure a healthy baby and mommy?
Mostly this is a rant to all the (typically white male) politicians who say “why should I pay for someone else to have a baby?” Well, by that logic, why should I pay for your increased risk of heart disease (increased risk for males)? Or prostate exams/cancer? Or sexual dysfunction or skin cancer (light skin -> increased sun burn risk)? Or any X-linked disease? Or any genetic condition that you passed on to your kids ( I don’t have an Alzheimer risk, why should I pay for yours)? It’s a slippery slope (well, less a slope than a cliff) and obviously a ridiculous argument but still somehow is being made.
*Random HSA side story: We’ve been getting requests from our HSA to provide an EOB for the money we’ve spent at the fertility clinic. For starters, I really don’t know more than the basics of insurance and had to look up what an EOB was. Once I did, it made more sense to me that the HSA interface with the insurance company and getting information direction? Isn’t that easier and more efficient than putting the onus on the consumer to do this type of work? Also, the HSA money is quite literally my own money. Anyways, I called them, getting increasing frustrated at the “Ma’am, ask your insurance provider” responses (‘You asked for this damn document, not them. So you give me a response’). Finally I just said, “This is for a fertility clinic. What else do you think it was used for? What non medical expense can possibly exist at a fertility clinic?” And I could totally hear her .. just freeze and not know how to respond. Goes to show that fertility is still totally a topic that people are uncomfortable with — even in the medical field.