The inevitable health insurance battle

I’ve battled health insurance many times over the last five years so I knew insurance for fertility would be no different. It’s always a struggle, even with good coverage, and I was prepared for the fight.

My insurance through my job didn’t have any fertility coverage at all but Ilan’s did, so our first step was for me to switch onto his insurance. Unfortunately, in order to switch insurance in the US at this time, you’re required to have a ‘qualifying event.’ I needed to lose my own insurance in order to be added to his. But at least I had that option as many people aren’t so lucky.

My job at the time wasn’t able to switch me to part-time so I had to quit in order to lose my insurance coverage with them and switch onto Ilan’s. It wasn’t ideal, but we crunched the numbers and it made the most sense because IVF is EXPENSIVE.

It was the last day after I gave my two weeks notice and my manager spent the entire day getting a part-time position approved, so I didn’t have to quit. He knew I didn’t want to leave, and that morning they had a meeting where the rules seemed to have a little flexibility, so he worked his magic. Just 15 minutes into my very last team meeting and we got the green light, so I was able to surprise my entire team but letting them know I was able to stay on part-time instead. It was a roller coaster of emotions but I was very grateful to still have my job, and some income.

So, I switched to part-time work and got onto Ilan’s insurance. The next hurdle was sorting out all the medications I’d need for our first egg retrieval. The timing of a cycle doesn’t always align with the timing of insurance approvals, so we had to pay for some of the more expensive medications out of pocket and hope that insurance would reimburse us for it. At the time of writing this, it’s currently 10 months later and still no reimbursement. Fingers crossed we can get it sorted because it’s a relatively significant amount of money and I’m not giving up.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned is to track everything very closely and be willing to spend hours and hours on the phone with insurance. I’ve saved thousands of dollars by making sure everything is done correctly and appealing decisions when need be. It’s time-consuming and often feels like a job in itself but it’s definitely worth it in the end. Good luck to any of you out there facing a similar insurance battle!

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