Challenges of Fertility and how to overcome to achieve parenthood-Part 5

Discussion in 'Fertility & Trying to Conceive' started by vmur, Dec 19, 2008.

  1. vmur

    vmur Silver IL'ite

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    In addition to the emotional roller-coaster that infertility involves, there is a huge financial burden when seeking treatment both in the US and India. Many insurance plans do not cover anything more than the basics for procedures - almost all of them do not cover fertility medications.
    Fortunately, there are steps you can take to finance your dream of having a child.

    1. ( If you live in the US/Canada ) Check your insurance policies. Find out what is covered, if there are lifetime maximums and what your deductibles and co pays will be if there is coverage. Some companies will cover diagnosis but not infertility treatment. Under some plans you need to get procedures pre-certified.

    2. ( If you live in the US/Canada ) Find out about the Flexible Spending Account. Contribute maximum amount towards FSA with both your and your spouse's employer. Note of caution - FSA is based on "use it or lose it". So some planning is needed based on when you will go for costly treatment. You can set aside a maximum of $5000. Ask me questions if you have any here.

    2. Create a budget for infertility. As soon as you suspect you might have trouble conceiving, start saving in a separate account designated for financing infertility treatments.

    3. The cost of medicines is significant when taking fertility treatment. While Clomid and other oral medicines are cheap, almost all injectables are expensive. There are several things you can do to reduce this cost:

    a. Although medicines like Menopur are very expensive in the US, Ferring makes the same medicine in Europe under a different brand name which is almost 50% less. You can buy this over the web, but be sure to use a credit card so you can dispute the transaction if necessary. Beware of scams, and order a small quantity first to see if it really works. Google to see if others have had favorable or unfavorable experience. Post on IL so others can benefit.

    b. You can buy surplus medication from people who get pregnant and have extra left over. Here is the address of a buy/sell U.S. site where you can find medicines at more than 50% discount.(http://www.freegaragesale.com/medical.htm) I sold all of my leftover medicine at 1/4th of the price after I became pregnant. (Just make sure they are all sealed and unopened). In most cases these are genuine.

    4. Also, contact some of the other patients at your doctor's clinic or your other friends who have successfully completed their treatment and consider buying their leftover medicine. They will be too glad to sell them at cheaper prices, and some of them even donate them for free to the clinic. While you are in the waiting room in the doctor's office waiting to be called for the blood/(U/S) tests, try to connect with other patients around. That way, you will get to know the success rates, the treatment protocols that are being followed for other women, and if you get to be the successful one first, you can even sell your leftover meds to them or vice-versa.

    5. Once you are in the stage where you are ordering your medications on a regular basis, order only what you need for this cycle rather than order them all at once. This can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars because if your doctor changes your medications mid-cycle or changes the dosage, you could be stuck with meds you will not be using, and the pharmacy will not take them back.Besides, you don't get any discounts for ordering medicines in bulk.

    6. Travel to India for IVF. If your doctors say that in vitro fertilization is your best option for conceiving, consider traveling to India where the costs are much lower. Standard disclaimers apply - choose a safe, effective facility. Ask others for experiences with the facility.

    7. Consider package deals. There is an institute in Chicago called Advanced Fertility institute which will guarantees a live child or you get your money back. They do 4 IVFs and if you don't get the desired result, you get your $20K (approx) fee back. This may be a better alternative to doing two unsuccessful IVFs at full cost ( around 12K each ). http://www.advancedfertility.com/ivfriskshare.htm

    Added later - I have some more cost information but I will wait to post this till we cover more ground in our series. In our series we have only gone till IUI - the road is only half-travelled at this point. Fortitude and perseverance are needed to reach the final destination !
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2008
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  2. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Vids,
    I have been following your posts avidly!
    The fourth point you have written about the package deal, came to me as a great surprise! I just cannot believe that such possibilities exist.
    If such a promise is made in our country, people will raise a hue & cry that there must me some foulplay somewhere!
    It looks as though creation is nomore God's "portfolio"!!
    But the details you give are wonderful! Pray God bless you for doing this great service based on personal experience to seekers of motherhood.
    Love,
    Chithra.
     
  3. rajalakshmigopal

    rajalakshmigopal Gold IL'ite

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    Dear Vidya,

    Iam really grateful to you for this article! I find it extremely useful.

    Keep writing more!

    May God bless you and your family a sound health and a fun filled life for doing this eternal service.
     
  4. Prem.S

    Prem.S Silver IL'ite

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    Dear Vidya,

    Very informative and useful post. You are doing a great job. May God bless you and yours in abundance.

    Luv,
    Premsudha
     
  5. semi

    semi New IL'ite

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    Dear vidya,

    Well written information and very useful. Thanks for your writeup and time. It is so nice of you.
    -semi
     
  6. vmur

    vmur Silver IL'ite

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    Dear Chith and others,

    Yes it's a testament to American ingenuity that they are able to offer guarantees in matters that were previously thought to be the Almighty's exclusive domain :)

    Here is a brief explanation of how they are able to do it:

    1. Advanced Fertility screens the patients who want to participate in this "guarantee or money back" plan. You have to be under a certain age, certain key indicators have to be within range, no history of unsuccessful IVFs etc. In other words they are covering their bets by screening out obvious risk factors.

    2. I'm told that they are a "high-volume" facility - this is their main business and they do huge numbers of it. They already have a sunk cost in terms of facility expenses and doctor salaries etc. They are just expensing their fixed costs over larger volumes driving down the cost of each IVF.

    3. With their patient screening and strict quality control, the odds are in their favor that more than 5 times out of 10, the patient has a successful IVF. So, if I give them $20,000 and get pregnant on the first IVF, they would have spent only around 5K ( see point 2 above ) and I would have given them the remaining $ 15k for free. If this happens more than 5 times out of 10, it will still cover the times when a couple of patients need their money back.

    Apart from the innovative business model, what it gives prospective parents is hope. In a business with no guarantees, it gives people some solace that they can try four times and still get the money back if the desired result is not there.

    What does one do if even IVFs don't work ? It's not the end of the road. I will post some ideas and solutions in later articles in this series.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2008
  7. vmur

    vmur Silver IL'ite

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    Does someone who lives in and around Chicago had any experience with Advanced Fertility institute ? Please post here, I am sure many US based ILites would love to know.
     
  8. Waiting

    Waiting New IL'ite

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    Hi Vmur

    I have read couple of your posts and felt you have so much info.. i am a 29 yr old having endometriosis.. had 2 lap surgeries but it keeps coming back.. so have now been advised to do IVF cycle.. am really anxious, worrried and fearing about the fate f my first IVF cycle.. my hormone tests have come back normal.. my DH also has normal SA.. except for the morphology..which is ver low..2%.. my problem is i have 3 cm endometriotic cyst on my right ovary which the Dr said she will drain before IVF cycle.. what all things am i supposed to do to give my best in the first cycle..
    can u suggest a good prenatal multi and supplements and any acupuncture treatments that might help?? right nw am taking Baby and Me multivitamin and went for 3 months of acupuncture in feb 2010 but that was for endometrioss.. pls reply to me.. also if u know anyone who had a successful IVF in bay area california.. do suggest me.. am so depressed that i dont know whom to ask.. pls help me!!
     
  9. mriduna

    mriduna Silver IL'ite

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    Thank you Vmur for the detailed write-up. Thank you Vasumathy for the compilation.
    Vmur, Can you please provide more information on insurance coverage in US and the flexible spending option you have suggested? We are in stage 2 as per your write-up, hoping for the best but trying to prepare for the worst. Any suggestion on emotional and financial planning would be great.
     
  10. kiran1

    kiran1 New IL'ite

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    Thank you so much, Vmur. You have answered so many of my questions with your detailed and clear description. Very invaluable. :bowdown
     

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