Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Insurance Issue

Yesterday I had yet another doctor appointment for my back pain. My primary doctor sent me to a back specialist last week, now that we are well passed a month of this continual pain. The back doctor was fairly sure I had a herniated disc, but wanted me to get an MRI to see for sure. Yesterday was my MRI. I walked in and they informed me that I would have to apply my deductible to the procedure, so I owed them $500. I considered not getting it. At least waiting until the start of our next fiscal year on our insurance, which is July 1st, but I couldn't do it. The pain has been so bad the last few weeks and by July 1st I hope to be pregnant. I knew I needed answers before then. We had to treat this now, so we can be ready for the June transfer. So we robbed Peter to pay the deductible, and I got the scan.

A few hours later I sat in the back doctors office and heard that I don't have a herniated disc after all. I just have something clearly aggravating that nerve. You can see the swelling, the pain is very specific, but there is nothing they can do. Pain management, physical therapy if I think it helps, hope it gets better. Thanks for your time, pay yet another copay on your way out.

I got in the car, called my mom and immediately burst into tears. I am happy I don't have a herniated disc, REALLY happy. But it just felt like the MRI and $500 were such a waste of money that we didn't have. On top of that, I have dropped so much in copays for this over the last month. And Here we are, absolutely nowhere near cured or having an answer.

And then things like this get me even more mad about infertility treatments and insurance companies who consider these treatments elective and refusing to cover them. I shouldn't have to pay this $500 because I should have already met my deductible! I paid thousands of dollars out of pocket this year for infertility treatments, but those don't count. They are elective. I mean, yes, it is clearly a side effect of a diagnosed disease, but it is merely a side effect. They will cover my endometriosis, but since it left me infertile, and I CHOOSE to be a parent, I have to foot THAT particular medical bill. And yet insurance companies cover other medical side effects. They cover treatments for athletes that has sports induced asthma. They don't say, "You CHOOSE to run, even though your body says you can't, so you can pay the bills". And of course, they are more than happy to cover the elective procedure of preventing children. Tubals and Vasectomies are covered, because they would love to help you NOT have children. But infertility treatments are different.

It honestly makes me sick to think of how much money we have spent on medical treatments. Medical treatments that should have been paid by our insurance companies. And that's still with my amazing Nana paying for this last FET cycle, but that's still money out of pocket, just this time out of her generous pocket instead of our empty ones. But still, I think of how different out life would be if we were just able to get pregnant on our own. If it were free. Maybe then this $500 wouldn't hurt as bad. But dropping it in an already overflowing bucket of medical expenses and it was just more than I could take. So I broke down. I broke down because I was in pain and there were no answers, I broke down because sometimes life just isn't fair.
Henry at Lowes
And this post isn't meant to take away from how lucky we are. Because, good lord, we are lucky to have him. Lucky to have the chance to have one more. It just hurts sometimes to think of how different things would be in the Bio Girl household if insurance covered these clearly diagnosed medical conditions. He is worth every penny. I just wish we had all those pennies to give to him instead.


  1. It is totally unfair. I hope your back gets better soon! My brother had similar issue with his back (no actual issue, seemed to be a nerve, etc.). Steriods and some chiropractor-ing seemed to work for him. (And a lot of rest)

  2. Oh my sweet friend, I am so sorry. I remember all those copays and the $$$ we spent on the IVF etc and WOW...I just want to throw up everytime I think about it. Plus I swear that it just added insult to injury, isn't it bad enough to be infertile???

    sending lots and lots of hugs

  3. and I'm so sorry about your back pain. WOW, how awful.

  4. oh! your blog is so sweet, relatable, and lovely! I wish you ALL the best :)
    Your newest follower-

  5. Personally I think the whole US medical system sucks. I just cannot get my head around why citizens of such a wealthy country have to pay for healthcare. Seriously, I get so angry for you guys that you don't have free healthcare like we do!!

    And as for insurance not paying for things like IVF, well that just makes my blood boil for you even more. Over here, depending on where you live, you can get either one or two free cycles. After that you have to pay, but that is still at least one chance at parenthood without having to pay out of pocket. Having a family is a choice, but one that everyone should be able to make without having to think about whether they can afford to make the choice even to try. I could honestly cry for you guys as it really is so unfair xx

  6. I like doughnuts.

  7. That really sucks you paid $500 to find out nothing. What have you been doing in PT? It's too bad we don't live closer since I am a SLP who works with kids and my hubby is a soon-to-be PT.

    Oh, by the way, I am in the process of locating that book. I must have lent it out to someone so I am currently trying to figure out who that someone is. That pic of Henry is absolutely adorable, love his little cheeks.

    Insurance companies suck! Hope your back starts feeling better soon.

  8. Great that you don't have a herniated disc... but sounds like a nightmare to negotiate insurance and pay so much for medical care :( Your son looks gorgeous and FXd for you that your FET brings him a little brother or sister.... great to be cycling with you for #2. Love always xoxo