Friday, January 13, 2012

Hidden Expenses of Trying

My second miscarriage was a lot cheaper than my first.  I'm guessing it's not because my insurance company offers "buy one get one free" coverage for D&Cs, though.  Either they missed this last one, which is highly unlikely, or it's covered differently from the first because it was performed in an office and not a hospital setting.  In any case, I only paid a $20 copay.

I felt like I was getting away with something for a while after the cheapie D&C, particularly since my first one set me back $1800.  Mindful of not counting my chickens before they hatched (don't I know it), I kept an eye out for a bill in case it took a while to be processed.  My heart would stop when I received mail from my insurance company, but all of the envelopes contained harmless letters and not bills. 

Rather than opening the mailbox with dread every day, I could have called to inquire about coverage for the procedure.  However, I knew there was really no need to waste 30 minutes getting a noncommittal answer from a representative.  It was just a matter of time before some other medical test or procedure helped me reach my insurance deductible and coinsurance maximum. 

My surgery last month ended up being the big ticket item for this insurance period.  I've reached my deductible/coinsurance maximum each of the 3 insurance years we've tried, meaning that including copays, we've spent over $10,000 not getting pregnant.  Or, technically speaking, occasionally getting pregnant but not making it very far.

Everyone knows IVF can be expensive.  IUIs can certainly add up, too, making people wonder if they should have put the IUI money towards IVF.  What's blindsided me, though, is how much money you can spend on things that aren't IUI or IVF.  There's an array of fertility-related tests and procedures I hadn't considered before 2 years ago, from less invasive (but still expensive) uncovered lab tests to surgeries like laparoscopies. 

As far as infertility treatments and expenses go, we're in the minor leagues.  My heart goes out to women who have spent much, much more than we have and still do not have a baby in their arms.  Or those who have a baby but have suffered financially after expensive treatments.  Or who have gone through IVF at all, even if it was paid for.  I know I'm far from alone in all this.  My husband and I have been lucky so far to avoid IVF-scale interventions. 

I have to wonder, though.  How many more insurance years will I continue paying my maximum, not for prenatal testing, labor, and delivery but for infertility labwork and procedures?


  1. Oh hun - that sucks. It just adds another nail to the coffin. When so many people around us say "I just had to look at him and I was pregnant" and we pay a fortune just to get pregnant with no guarantees. It just isn't fair.

  2. I hear you. This past year, we've spent ~$20,000 trying to get pregnant. We finally qualify for a tax break based on medical expenses, but I'd much rather have my baby. The only thing that comforts me is knowing that one day, when all of this is behind us, we're going to be that couple people feel guilty around because we talk constantly about how fortunate we are to have our children after having to walk through hell and back to bring them into our lives.

    1. Yes, you're absolutely right about how we will blab constantly about how fortunate we are. Good point and I had your comment in my head all weekend.

  3. No one realizes how expensive all this crap is until they go through it. I am def lucky with my insurance but still, we have paid a lot for us. Anyone have a money tree?

  4. I hear ya' sister! Some days it just seems like it's piling up! I like what Cristy said, that one day other people will feel guilty when they complain about their kids while we talk about how fortunate we are to have ours. Hoping you guys can find some fuidance and some direction on how to proceed.


    People complain about the hidden costs of having kids, but for most of them, getting pregnant was FREE!

  6. I never knew it cost that much until I got the bills last month, it wasn't it enough to have gone through I have to pay for my empty uterus sad. So sorry for you loss.... so unfair.

  7. Insurance is so frustrating. I'm on a new plan this year and all I want is to READ the actual policy and can't get to it. They have a super helpful website (eyeroll) with FAQs that say nothing.
    It's amazing how expensive D&Cs are. I only ever had to take cytotec which cost like $3.

  8. My heart goes out to you. Even thinking about the expense of fertility treatment makes me shudder. I don't even know how that stuff works in Canada. Truth be told...even nearly 2 years later...I'm still hoping hoping hoping that it will "just happen". Maybe I need to relax and stop trying so hard. Ha!

  9. I can totally empathize with you on this one. We are waiting for about $5,000 in bills to arrive from our last failed IVF. They're have not yet arrived, and although I'm hoping they won't, I know it will be a matter of time before they do. Until then I'm just going to bury my head in the sand. I've thought about calling the insurance company to ask, but like you said, why bother? It would just remind them. :)

    I'm so sorry to hear about your miscarriages and that your D&C was $1800. I learn something new everyday from these blogs and did not realize that this would not be covered. Adding insult to injury. Ugh. Here I am ready to take the risk to spend money on potentially nothing, while there are those of you out there spending money to undo something that didn't work. :(

    I've thought about adding up all that I have spent and think it's better that I do not know right now.

    Thanks for commenting on my blog post today.

  10. I can't believe that your first D&C wasn't covered! What a crock. I know what you are talking about with bills adding up- I just got yet another bill from my early November surgery (to remove a fibroid, endo and a cyst) and they just KEEP COMING. Ugh.