Rest Assured: You've Got (Infertility) Insurance (Friday)

(Start with "Monday" if you can. Now's a good time to bitch about how insurance doesn't cover our treatments. Next week we'll all be in our reflective, thankful, Norman Rockwell modes and it will be too late: You won't feel like bitching anymore. The moment will have passed.) So, what were we talking about? Oh right. How different states have different laws about what insurance providers have to provide, infertility speaking.

Most of the laws are big on "spouses". The first time I ever heard that word I was playing the board game  "Life" and a spouse was represented by a pink or blue peg that you stuck into your little car.

(I always ended up with twins in that game. Now it all makes sense. I just don't remember, along the way, ever drawing a card directing my little car to drive off a cliff and plummet into the fertility clinic below.)

Arkansas, Hawaii, Maryland, and Texas are all adamant about only your spouse being your sperm donor. Rhode Island doesn't say that but it defines anyone eligible for infertility coverage: as an "otherwise healthy married individual".

So I guess if you're married but want to have your lover's baby, Rhode Island has the loophole you've been searching for. They said the patient had to be healthy. They didn't say anything about the marriage.

Neither Montana nor West Virginia has a definition of "infertility" on the books. So that must mean you can put in a claim if you haven't been able to get pregnant for a year, or if your eyes hurt when you look into the sun. If there's no definition of infertility, either one should be a valid claim.

At first I raised an unplucked eyebrow at the fact that a lot of states exempt religious employers from providing any fertility-related insurance whatsoever.

The more I thought about it, the angrier I got.  Making our medical conditions all political, and church and state are not only not separate but actually conspiring to keep us from living our own lives in the way we see fit. How dare they?! Then I thought about it this way:

It would be like telling a rabbinical college or a mosque that they had to give all of their employees hams for Christmas.  

After running through the infertility map of the U.S., I decided to go back and re-read my insurance benefits package (or as I like to call it "Lack of Benefits Package") to see where I really stood.

On page ten of ten, there was a list of, count 'em, forty-two non-covered categories.  Infertility came in at number fourteen on Casey Kasem's countdown of the top forty-two:  Just after medical procedures to treat obesity and just ahead of gender reassignment surgery.

You'd think treating obesity would save the insurance company a bundle in the long run. I could understand them not covering gender reassignment surgery though.

I mean, if you believed when you were a five year old girl that you were meant to be a five year old boy.... That's a pre-existing condition. It's great what some of these insurance companies can get away with isn't it? They won't pay for a woman to become a mother or a father. 

Listen, I gotta go. I'm putting the final nail in my re-enrollment benefits application for next year.  I think I'll  just take the Value Menu. Everything's 99 cents. I can imagine calling customer service. "Welcome to McInsurance. May I take your claim? Would you like apple pie for a dollar more?"

I'll talk with ya again on Monday.