putting a price on hope

I got the fee schedule from my clinic today, for an out-of-pocket IVF. I had done some legwork with insurance to discover that ultrasounds and blood draws aren’t listed as fertility services, so would be covered even if we’d maxed our coverage, only to have the clinic finance person state that they ‘under no circumstances’ would split billing. It’s either all insurance, or all out-of-pocket.

The last IVF cost $17,000 of insurance money (despite $32,000 being billed, I don’t understand US insurance systems), leaving us with $3000 in fertility coverage. In retrospect, we could have billed the FET to the insurance and maybe had to pay less than we did if we did max coverage, but we didn’t have the solid numbers at the time.

Anyway. The bill for this round of IVF will be $13,500 (including ICSI, blastocyst culture, and co-culture with granulocytes from my uterus). Drugs were another $400. So let’s call it $14,000.

That is a solid $6,000 less than I was expecting, so I am very pleased. I can pay my half. Pea probably won’t let me pay half, but I can pay my half and that is important. Sure, that category in my financial spreadsheet is listed as ‘retirement/baby/house’, and this will take a little over half of it, representing ~ half of my actual savings for the past three years, but I can afford it, and three years ago that never would have been possible. Also his portion will represent less than 10% of Pea’s savings, and that doesn’t include his retirement savings which are handled separately. God damn we are lucky.

I am a fan of throwing money at problems, but I’ve never done in on this scale (financially or emotionally). But I did inject myself with Lupron last night, so it’s away to the races we go.


12 thoughts on “putting a price on hope

  1. rainbowgoblin

    I too am a big fan of throwing money at problems, and here’s the thing: this is a really good time for you to be throwing money at anything, because your financial situation is about to become more secure (that’s the singular you, I assume that Pea’s salary will continue to be more or less the same after you move). Even if you had no savings, this would be a reasonable time to go into credit card debt, though I know you aren’t that kinda girl 😉 Take a deep breath, do it, and think no more on it!

    1. labmonkeyftw Post author

      Throwing money at it is really our only recourse, and we have the money. So we are lucky, and I am over any angst – especially now that it is ‘under budget’. 🙂

    1. labmonkeyftw Post author

      I did NOT know this! Possibly very useful, though they have us pay as a package for all services, so it may not work to slice-and-dice it for the services that would be covered. But I am not sure – Golden Company’s insurance is ridiculously good, and they are nice to talk to on the phone, against all odds, so I will give it a whirl! OR the FET, that might be genius. Thank you!

      1. Jenny F. Scientist, PhD

        They’re probably required by law to supply you with a detailed list of what you paid for, if you get snippy enough about it. Basically anything you can get a receipt for that is a covered service, they’re obligated to reimbires. Getting them to cough up can be challenging, of course, but for $3000…. well, I can be pretty annoying for that much money. Every time you sign an assignation of benefits at a medical office, you are allowing them to bill your insurance *instead* of you having to submit all your receipts. (I worked on healthcare and HC IT for a couple years and know all the magic words for Pay Up Now. Useful life skill!)

  2. Turia

    I love happy surprises like that. (And how nuts is it when $14,000 out of pocket is a good surprise, but anyway).

    You know I have so much hope for you in this.

    Away you go indeed!

    1. labmonkeyftw Post author

      It is a strange world indeed, but $6,000 less than expected is always good news, even when the news was going to be roundly bad.
      I have hope too! It feels odd, but I am rolling with it.

  3. thecommonostrich

    Back before my insurance covered infertility treatments, I did some similar math and realized I would have to tap money I had set aside for a house. Though completely annoyed that I might have to spend it on treatment, it was nice to know that I could actually afford it.

    Yes, that is a big sticker price, but the upside is that you’re fortunate to have money to throw at the problem. There’s a weird silver lining for you.

    1. labmonkeyftw Post author

      I’ll take what silver linings exist in this mad world! It’s a lot of money, but we have it, and I’m in the very lucky position of knowing my financial situation will improve in the next six months, so I can risk a large portion of savings now.
      I mostly posted this because every clinic is different and I had a hard time finding out what costs might be from googling. So figured I’d share.


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