Money and Fertility Treatment Costs - Guilt and Possible Solutions
Fertility Treatment Costs: Starting the Discussion
Continuing on my rant from last week about money and the presumption that any of us can afford fertility treatment. It turns out, through many conversations about this lately with patients, students and professionals in the field, that even those who can easily afford the financial burden of fertility treatment costs or adoption, still resent and feel guilty about it.
Here’s one question.
Wouldn’t we give anything we had to having a baby?
The easy answer is yes. The simple answer is yes.
But is it the real answer?
I knew at a certain point in my fertility journey that I would not give up my husband for a baby. That was a tremendous realization for me. I had felt, in my heart, and in my desperation, that there wasn’t anything I wouldn’t give up. It was a relief and a blessing to realize that was not in fact true; that my marriage was of such value to me that even in that terribly hard choice, I choose the marriage.
Of course, there was never a real correlation between giving up my husband and having a baby.
There is one with money though. For those of us uninsured, underinsured, it is a very real issue.
The question is how far will you go with paying for fertility treatment?
Max out your credit cards? Mortgage your house?
Or as a wonderful Ladies Night In woman said last night, borrow from Paul to pay XXXXX.
I always thought of it as how much was I willing to beg, borrow or steal. Minus the stealing part. Sort of.
Grappling with Infertility Insurance
Minus the stealing part, sort of, because I was always looking at ways to maximize the little insurance coverage that I had. And that did feel like stealing. With my insurance at the time, if the word infertility was even mentioned, I had no coverage with any tests or procedures. I remember, quite clearly, the irony that surgery was covered. How bittersweet that felt to me; as I wished there was something that could be done surgically because that I could have the financial support around.
The guilt that abounds around the reluctance to spend thousands of dollars, sometimes tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket is extraordinary. Carrie Van Steen and I sat with our lovely women last night in our peer support group and every single one of us had significant feelings about infertility insurance and the financial issues around fertility treatment. Whether it had to do with spending money out of pocket or guilt that we have decent coverage or resentment about spending money with no guaranteed outcome. It was all there, ran a full gamut of uncomfortable feelings.
You will continue to hear more and more about this on this blog. Not every day, I promise, but minimum once a week. There are some wonderful possibilities around financing fertility treatment that are coming to fruition.
I’m looking forward to sharing more with you.
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About Lisa Rosenthal
Lisa has over thirty years of experience in the fertility field. After her personal infertility journey, she felt dissatisfied with the lack of comprehensive services available to support her. She was determined to help others undergoing fertility treatment. Lisa has been with RMACT for eleven years and serves as Patient Advocate and the Strategic Content Lead.
Lisa is the teacher and founder of Fertile Yoga, a program designed to support men and women on their quest for their families through gentle movement and meditation.
Lisa’s true passion is supporting patients getting into treatment, being able to stay in treatment and staying whole and complete throughout the process. Lisa is also a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist, which is helpful in her work with fertility patients.
Her experience also includes working with RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association and The American Fertility Association (now Path2Parenthood), where she was Educational Coordinator, Conference Director and Assistant Executive Director.