(Start with "Monday" if you can. You won't be able to fully appreciate how screwed we are-insurance-wise- unless you start with Monday and read about places in the world who are less screwed.) So, what were we talking about? Oh right. How treatments in Denmark are free but won't be come the new year.
I don't think my treatments here were ever free. No, I think I'd remember that. No, I do seem to recall my fertility treatments costing me thousands of dollars, my car, my credit rating, and my house in Aspen (that I never had and now never will.) Maybe someone reading this in Denmark can mail me a few kroner.
When I was about to undergo fertility treatments, I checked out the benefits my company offered. And the benefit to having these benefits was? Okay, there was no benefit.
I opened up the booklet where it said: "Benefit Highlights". I misunderstood. "Highlights" to me usually meant something good. Like football highlights. A great pass, a fantastic interception, a three linebacker collison. Something exciting happened. But no. Here apparently "Highlights" meant:
"Sucky things we need to bring to your attention now so you we can get all of your whining out of the way at this meeting and we can pretend we're listening to it and then ignore you starting January 1st when it takes effect."
So I looked for my category in the booklet: First I had to sift through the maternity care services: For natural child birth, only the first push was covered so you'd better make it a good one.
I could tell already my company went all out on their benefits package.
Then Family Planning Services: A bag of condoms and a "just say no" video, followed by a lecture called: "Zip It or Snip It...You Decide"
Then I got to "Fertility Treatments" which was defined as "getting pregnant by any artificial means."
Artificial means? Any of you ever inject yourself with Nutrasweet? Me neither.
The definition was then followed by three columns. The first read, from top to bottom: IUI, IVF, Surrogacy,Egg Donor, and Shoving a chicken egg up your whoo whoo and waiting for it to hatch.
The second column listed what you would get "In-Network". I don't have the paper in front of me right this second. I'll try to remember what it said: To the best of my recollection, it went something like:
"Not Covered", "Not Covered", "Not Covered", "Not Covered" and "May be covered in rural areas. Please consult your sales representative for details."
The third column listed what the insurance would pay if you went to a doctor not in-network.
"Not Covered", "Not Covered", "Not Even Remotely Close To Being Covered", "Not Even Remotely Close to Being Considered To Being Covered", "May be covered in rural areas. Please consult your sales representative for details."
After the big group insurance briefing, where the rep talked in circles and answered questions with questions (Is there a statistic on how many former insurance sales reps have become political candidates?) Anyway.. after our hour of enlightenment in the company break room... I actually did consult/corner our company's insurance sales representative about all of this infertility non-coverage. I wanted to be sure I was reading this right. Boy was that a productive pow-wow.
I'm not sure he knew what a fertility treatment was. He just looked extremely uncomfortable (embarrassed) like I'd just asked: "That Flexible Spending Account: Can you buy sex toys with that?"
He flipped through the booklet for twenty minutes. He reminded me of a twelve year old looking for his homework that he knows he didn't do, while the teacher hovers over his desk waiting to collect either the homework or an explanation.
I guess he figured by his third time through the booklet on his diligent search, I would just walk away. But I didn't. I'm not big on hints.
He pretended to look at the booklet forwards and backwards. Front to back, back to front. Maybe his copy was written in English and Hebrew. By about the sixth go round, I don't know what he was doing with that booklet but it resembled fanning himself more than reading.
He finally just mumbled that he wasn't sure and handed me an 800 number to customer service. I thought: "Great. He just outsourced my question to a fifteen year old in Tibet."
Listen, I gotta go. Still pondering my open enrollment choices for next year's company insurance. I'm not sure if I should take the basic plan or the bells and whistles plan. I mean, I'm in pretty good condition for someone my age. Then again, at my age, that's like saying I'm an extremely sturdy sand castle.
I'll talk with ya again tomorrow.