Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Cost

So for the first six years of my marriage I knew I couldn't have babies, but I didn't know why.  Now, I may know why.  As I've mentioned before, I have poor ovarian reserve. My FSH levels are high. I can't remember the exact number right now.  It may be something like 11.

Initially I thought that if I knew why I couldn't have children, it would give me peace.  Turns out I was wrong. I have been an emotional basket case.  Listen to me carefully: ignorance is bliss and don't let anyone tell you differently!  

The most aggressive treatment I can get is IVF.  I am really hoping I won't have to turn to it. Ugh!  I am hoping that I can produce one good egg that will find one good sperm in my next round of IUI.  

I just can't believe I'm supposed to deal with this much.  I've never been an extremely strong person.  I do what I was taught to do.  I get up in the morning, go to work, repress all urges to commit a violent crime, return home and sleep. I don't bother anyone, I don't try to change them.  I just try to make my way through life unnoticed.  So I don't know why I have been presented with such a challenge.

With all of that said, I've been trying to prepare for my worst case scenario/IVF.  I called the doctor's office to find out if it offers financing.  They work with some program called ARC fertility.  I contacted them to get the lowdown.  In the end it sounds like a bad insurance situation.  Basically to get the best monetary deal, you need to fail every single round of IVF.  Isn't that horrible?  I guess that's what happens when you don't have the money to pay out of pocket.  Here's just a sample of their plan.

3 rounds fresh IVF & 3 rounds frozen IVF (that's six total): $26, 989.20
They'll loan you this amount at an interest rate of 3.9% to 19.9% and you can pay it off in 24 to 84 months.

You can apply for a refund pkg that will be thousands of dollars, but they won't give you an exact amount until the actuary calculates your risk assessment.  But let's say it's an additional $5,000.  So if you fail all six rounds, I believe you'll get about $15,000 back.  (Don't quote me on this just yet.)

How does this impact me?

I have a poor ovarian reserve.  That means I have more bad eggs than good.  I have 18 follicles.  If the doctor is able to get all 18 of them to produce an egg for that cycle of IVF, she would only expect to have three viable eggs at the most.  Now you have to calculate the chance that all three will fertilize properly. Basically, the chances of me having anything left over to freeze is slim.  ARC says if I don't have any frozen embryos for the frozen IVF (or FET: frozen egg transfer ), I just forfeit those procedures.  Say what?

If I am lucky enough to get pregnant the first time and deliver a healthy child, I do not get a refund on the other five procedures in the package.  I just paid $26, 989.20 for a procedure that should be about $10,000

Also, that 26 grand does not include the medications that I will need, nor will it cover any genetic testing my doctor may want to preform to make sure she is putting the best possible embryo in my womb.

I hope this all makes sense to you. I'm not sure it makes sense to me, which is why I may be confusing you.

My insurance only covers the diagnosis of your infertility. It will not cover anything to get you pregnant.

This ARC situation seems rather shady, but I'm not above using it if I get desperate enough.  (I know.  It's sad, but I'm being honest.)  However, some ladies told me to go to some local credit unions and try to get a personal loan.  That way I have more control over how the money is spent.  Due to our country's current economic situation, I doubt I'll be able to secure a $30,000 loan.  That does not mean I won't give it a try.


  1. There are some medical research programs in medical universities. They sometimes do the IVF as a part of their research for the fraction of the cost for the patient. That may be an option for you. Try to find one in your state. Good Luck!

  2. Thanks, Evita. I'm currently checking all options. I can't come this far and quit.