The Financial Burden of Infertility
As if the stress and trauma weren’t enough, the expense and financial burden of infertility adds insult to injury.
Although infertility is recognized as a disease, the insurance coverage for many is limited or non-existent..
The costs are also staggering for patients seeking to preserve their fertility prior to starting cancer or other treatments that may impact fertility.
Does Insurance Cover Expenses Related to Infertility?
Currently, only 19 states have infertility insurance coverage laws, and 10 states have fertility preservation laws for iatrogenic (medically-induced) infertility. Cost is the number one barrier to infertility medical treatment. The average cost of treatment is $24,000 and patients will encounter highly inflated managed care pharmacy prices for medications, where patients with coverage can pay as much as 100 percent more for medications compared to prices charged to self-pay patients. A national infertility organization, Resolve, completed a community survey that found 39 percent of participants used credit cards to pay for their fertility procedures, while 12.6 percent took out loans and 4 percent used their home as equity. They also found that women (25-34 years old) accrued $30,000 of debt on average after undergoing infertility treatment.
How the Expense of Infertility Lead me to Create a NonProfit That Supports Insurance Coverage for Infertility
Being diagnosed with unexplained infertility as a medical provider makes the head really spin. I currently work as a doctorate nurse practitioner and felt there was more I could do to help others. After experiencing a miscarriage, I knew there was more going on. Exhausted and confused we proceeded and endured three failed IUIs, we decided it was time to take a break. During this break, I took part in a once in a lifetime opportunity. I was selected by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners for a health policy fellowship for one month in Washington, DC. Little did I know how this opportunity would play into my future of helping others who are experiencing infertility.
After I returned we scheduled a consultation with a new doctor and began down the IVF path. During this, I experienced a canceled transfer. Wow, are there emotions that play into this situation. We decided to do genetic testing and had two beautiful embryos that we transferred on May 1st, 2017. I would soon be devastated to find out that we miscarried one embryo yet filled with joy that I was finally pregnant.
My pregnancy was “normal” and going well. Still it took a long time for me to sit back and really enjoy being pregnant without any fear or anxiety. At 32 weeks, I was rushed via helicopter two hours away to my OB where I spent 3 nights in the hospital. It was determined that I had a placenta abruption but everything remained normal. I then spent another four weeks living two hours from home to remain close to my OB. At 39 weeks, Hayden surprised us and was born via emergency c-section. He is a happy and healthy toddler who gives me the courage and strength to keep fighting for others in the wait.
Also Read: Five Fertility Myths