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

(Start with "Monday" if you can.  You can slack off today anyway. Nobody really expects anyone to do any work the week before a holiday. Or the week after. Or between Thanksgiving and New Year's... Or those last two weeks in July... Or whenever else we just can't be bothered....And hey, if you'd like some more insider info etc about Laughing Is Conceivable please become a subscriber...please...please) So, what were we talking about? Oh right. The great medical coverage my company's insurance carrier offered for my fertility treatments. Okay, it wasn't really great. It was more like: "Get out of our office before we throw you off the insurance altogether, you infertile fool."

So, I took the matter up with our company's Human Resources: "Do you think we could get a health plan that would cover some of my infertility treatments?: Drugs, tests, ice for my butt injections, anything?" 

To which they responded: 

"No, but if you have some annual leave time, you can go to your doctors' appointments without getting fired."

I often wonder why someone came up with the name: "Human Resources".  It certainly didn't fit this group of broads at all. I guess "The Humane Society" was already taken.

I find it interesting that only fifteen states in the U.S. require insurance carriers to cover at least some infertility-related costs. And even with those states... You could drive a truck-load of us through the loopholes.

 A lot of states, like California for instance, have a clause that goes  something like this:  

  • Requires group insurers to offer coverage of infertility treatment... Employers may choose whether or not to include infertility coverage as part of their employee health benefit package.
  • Okay, well that doesn't sound too hard for your employer to get out of. I'm sure my lovely HR ladies meeting with the prospective insurance carrier went something like this: 

    "Ladies, if you want the basic package it will cost your company eight dollars a year per employee. If you'd like to add coverage for infertility treatments then the rate goes up slightly to $9700 a year per employee."

    I could see the HR women contemplating this:

    "Well, that seems like a sexual issue and none of us has had any interest in sex since the '80's... and we were hired to save the company money... yeah I think we'll just go for the eight dollar one where you only get an ambulance if you're unconscious or have lost more than half of your bodily fluids." I could see them equipping the ambulance driver with a dipstick to verify the latter. 

    And, incidentally, California (at least as of the report I read from 2009) doesn't require IVF coverage at all.

    Hawaii, like many states, does require coverage of one IVF cycle if cheaper forms of ART have been tried.  But, get this, (loophole alert!) you have to have had at least a five year history of infertility to get treatments covered.

    I consider myself to be a fairly honest person, but, honestly, I would lie my ovaries off on that one. We were each nearly forty when we got married. So, we're supposed to touch touch kiss kiss and sit around until I'm like pushing forty-five before we hula off to the fertility clinic?

    Several states like Louisiana allow you to get diagnosed and receive medical treatment for things that may be affecting your fertility, but once a doctor says the actual word "infertility"...the next words you'll hear will be: "And by the way, we take cash, checks, and most major credit cards."

    So if the surgeon is mid-surgery cutting a few feet off my colon: "Clamp. Scissors, Neosporin. Oh wait, this looks like it could result in infertility. Okay, gang--Roll it up and shove it back in."

    Listen, I gotta go. I'm almost done making my insurance picks for next year. Should I get the optical coverage and have the freedom of picking out one of the three approved frames or should I just go it alone?

    I'll talk with ya again tomorrw.