Saturday, January 5, 2008

When did I become "that woman"?

I've mentioned my upcoming IVF plans a few times recently. Here, in private conversations and on some private and public message boards. And I talk about how it's so strange that I'm ~here~ and already in the pre-authorization process. Like it's NO BIG DEAL to have IVF coverage.

Do you know that I've been insanely jealous of women with coverage for years? Even when IVF wasn't in part of my plan? Although I must admit that I would have probably gone for IVF earlier in ttc #1 and now for #3 if I had coverage - so I've always been a little miffed that IVF wasn't an option for me because I just couldn't see spending $12,500 out of pocket.

But seriously - whenever I saw anyone mention their IVF coverage casually, I got a little pissed off. I wanted each and every women WITH coverage to add onto each and every WORD about their IVF coverage with the caveat - "and I count my blessing everyday for this coverage because I know I am one of the few with coverage".

It's like I wanted covered people to bow down and feel humbled for the coverage they have. I ~know~ this is unfair though and it's why I never verbalized it to anyone. I would never ever of scoffed at anyone for not saying how they were lucky, although I know I quite frequently would have to add in "you sure are lucky" to any of my comments to these people.

And here I am. With coverage. Talking about it. Without the caveats. Just talking about it like it's normal. Good lord, I suck big monkey assholes. I do. And I'm sorry. I've become her. THAT girl with coverage. Who isn't visibly counting her lucky stars (but believe me, they are being counted more than you could imagine).

Quick question. Is IVF covered for Candians? I know general health care is covered, but what about IVF? Can any Canadian just get IVF for free? Meds too?

Along these same lines about the ~need~ I've felt for women to humble themselves for their good fortune, hHave I mentioned how I've recently become free from the non-humbling actions of fertiles? For so long, it's bothered me that girls who got pregnant easy and had no views into the IF world weren't falling all over themselves with the knowledge they dodged a bullet. I've always known they wouldn't be able to understand how IF feels, but I always thought they should not only know, but they should SHOW they understand just how lucky they were to conceive easily.

I finally came to an understanding how I can't hold this against them when they really have no idea "it" even existed. It was pompous of me to think my feelings and journey should be sought out and understood and coddled when they wouldn't even know to begin to look for it. Although, once I explain it to them, I think my journey should be respected. For example, after I explain 35 months of my life has been spent TTC, they shouldn't respond with "Sucks to be you! Only took 3 months for me to get 3 kids!".

Yes, I have talked about this before because now I remember my example. It's like someone who loses their ability to walk. This person may be quite pissed off that everyone takes walking for granted. But for most, walking IS something we take for granted because we have had no opportunity to think otherwise. However, if we become aquainted with the issue, suddenly walking is something that is hugely on our minds and never again will we take it for granted.

And that is how I have to think about fertiles. Until they have a reason, I can't expect them to know.

Why am I explaining all of this when I'm just trying to explain that I understand just how lucky I am right now? Who am I equating myself with? The person who just innocently doesn't know about something? The person who is annoyed that someone else isn't humbled? Or am I the person who has been explained the situation, yet I say something really lame back?

I think I am trying to say that I feel like I may look like that last person, but I swear, I'm not. I know just where I am right now and I understand the gravity of it. It's not something I'm taking for granted. And I should be careful not to make it sound like I am.


jenn said...

I think that you have not only proved you aren't that person with this post- but I seem to recall your initial post about said wonderful IVF insurance coverage mentioned a few 'lucky's'. Or at least you have always come across that way to me.

but that said- you sure are lucky to have that amazing coverage! ;o)

MJ said...

I'm not Canadian, but I live about 20 miles from the border. My RE treats a lot of Canadians who can't do IVF in Canada. Apparently, they will cover IVF for cases that qualify, but a lot of women are turned down because their FSH levels are too high or for various other reasons.

Anonymous said...

i was curious too after reading your blog.. so I searched it for you and with basic MSP (our basic insurance here)IVF is not covered for Canadians.

chicklet said...

Your CSI comment, killed me, thank you - I needed that. And yea, I don't normally eat that late but I was starving!

On your coverage and knowing how lucky you are, first off - woot! Secondly, good for you for acknowledging it - I kinda forgot when I mentioned the freebies I get with IVF#2. Amazing how that happens...

And to top off the longest comment ever, to your CDNS questions...
1. IVF procedures (retrievals, u/s's, transfers, fertilization) aren't covered right now, although I think Ontario is playing with the idea. So anyone can get it if they've got the money to do so.
2. IVF drugs however can be covered through your work benefits. Most "good" companies have benefits that cover a portion of fertility drugs. My coverage is decent in that it's $5000 lifetime limit, but the husband has the same coverage, so we can piss away $10k in drugs without cost to us. But it's lifetime, not annual (eyecare is $200/yr for example).

Poltzie said...

I'm glad you are covered and I hope that it works for you! I love your other blog and you seem like such a dedicated mother. Another little baby will be so lucky to have you as a mom.

I'm not sure if Canadians are covered for IVF and I would suspect that we would have some out of pocket expenses but that they are much lower than $12,000. I live in Alberta and most basic things are covered by Alberta Health Care (AHC). My work and my husband's work cover our "extras" like prescriptions, massage, chiro, accupuncture etc. I have to pay $60.00 a month for this and my husband's work covers us and any children for free (they just don't offer the accupuncture, natural medicine and physio so I choose to pay the extra $60.00 a month). His account also has a $1000.00 spending account that you can use for any medical needs (he is using it for laser eye surgery next year). Most benefits are based on how good your company is and he works in oil so his coverage is better and cheaper. We also have to pay for our AHC but that is based on your income and I think with both hubby and I we pay about $70.00 a month. So as Canadians nothing is free but it is darn cheap.
Anyways back to IVF treatments. I had a friend who had three IUI treatments. She had to pay for her meds which were $75.00 a month, she didn't have benefits but if she did they would of paid for 80% of the meds. She did get pregnant after three months but she told me you are only allowed three IUIs then you need to start another form of treatment.
Anyways sorry about the long response and I hope that answers your question?

KatieM said...

I know you know having that particular coverage is the exception rather than the rule, so I don't expect you to openly be thankful each time you talk about it. Although yes, I completely wish I could just as easily do IVF it doesn't make me resent you for it when you mention it....we all have twists and turns along the way and this is just one of yours =)

Io said...

I have to admit, I have read blogs where people bitch about their free IVF and I just get so damn jealous. I absolutely will not get pregnant without IVF and absolutely can't afford it right now, so somewhere in the pit of my stomach I get knotted up when I see people cavalierly referring to their insurance coverage.
But then I remember that it is all about degrees. It could be much harder and more expensive - I could need donor eggs or a surrogate. I could have severe problems with me and not just with my husband. I could have been trying with years with no clue about what is wrong and no way to fix it.

I do appreciate your concern for us poor infertiles though - I agree with Jenn - you've definitely shown you aren't ungrateful. I don't begrudge anyone what I want - I just want it too!

Pamela Jeanne said...

Guilty as charged. I've always harbored more than a little envy and some amount of disdain for those who don't acknowledge how lucky they are to have coverage for treatment (I say some $45,000 poorer in my bank account with nothing more than black and white shots of embryos to show for it).

As for not holding fertiles accountable for lack of awareness, I agree to a point. We wear our scars inside and don't have clues like crutches or wheelchairs or other noticeable evidence of the medical condition we're fighting to overcome, but that should not give them carte blanche to be ignorant in an era of unprecedented infertility clinic growth. I mean, geez, the "we can help you make a baby" ads are in my local paper next to the Macys ads for Pete's sake! There's no excuse for not exercising the brain cells they were given to consider that fertility is NOT a given. Okay, too much caffeine, but boy do I feel better for getting that off my chest!

nancy said...

Miss Pamela Jeanne, I agree that fertiles shouldn't be able to use the "I didn't know" card and allowed to be rude with infertility gaining public acceptance. Which kind of contradicts my thoughts on not harboring resentment when I hear a fertile gush over how she thought she NEVER would get pregnant when it took her 3 whole months. Hrm. How can I have my cake and eat it too? Maybe I'll just go bake two cakes :)

Anonymous said...

I know you didn't ask about Australia, only Canada, but I'm putting in my 2 cents. I have done 3 IUI's with injectibles (FSH and HCG) and they cost me $500 up front of which I received back about $375 from the Australian government healthcare system. Our fresh IVF cost about $1200 and our FET about $300. I am thankful every single day for our system - I also have private health insurance and use that for hospital stays etc but the public system here is pretty amazing. You can go to a hospital for any illness and be treated regardless of how much money you have. Having a baby here through the public system (I go private but I think it's amazing that there is this option) actualy costs nothing (ultrasounds, prenatal visits, hospital stay all free).

loribeth said...

The only Canadian province that funds IVF in any way is Ontario, and both of your tubes must be blocked to qualify. Drug coverage depends on your workplace benefits plan coverage. I work for one of Canada's largest federally regulated employers. I had a lifetime maximum of $5,000 on fertility drugs, which I blew threw in less than two IUI cycles using Gonal-F.

Strangely enough, OHIP (the Ontario Health Insurance Plan) covered the cost of my IUI, but not the sperm washing. We paid $350 for that. Go figure??!

Oh yes, and I never had to pay for any of my clinic visits, bloodwork, u/s or tests (HSG, post-coital, endo biopsy, etc. etc.).

Anonymous said...

In reading another blog I discovered that there are several states in the US that require IVF coverage. I can't find the original link that had all of the information, but this one comes close:

Some are quite specific about what they will and will not cover, but how nice that the option is there in the first place. (I am reading it right, right? The author who referred to it had twins through IVF.)

Hope the pre-approval process is just a way to keep busy and isn't actually needed.