September 26, 2008
I’ve alluded several times to the new job that I took primarily for the health insurance. Since the insurance was so central to my taking the job, you’d hope that it would have been smoother to actually become insured. Right now, a month into the job, I do have an insurance card, but I haven’t yet used any services. First there were several weeks of bureaucratic incompetence, and then once that was resolved, just a little procrastination on my part for the past few days. Now, I need to choose a primary care doctor who I will then see to get referred back to my own RE, hopefully with the judgment that certain interventions not normally covered are in fact medically necessary, or at least, with my hysteroscopy and maybe some meds for IVF #2 covered. This means that I need to choose the right doc, not just any doc off the list, but one who will greenlight me. And that requires extensive research, which I haven’t had time to do, because I now have two jobs. See the catch?
Oh, and by the way, I got my period today. Which is not a huge deal except that it means that IVF #2 will be yet another month later than I’d originally planned.
Anyway, in dealing with the people at Human Resources, it was one bumble after another. My “favorite” (not the one that caused the most trouble, just the “funniest” in infertility terms) came when I drudged up the courage to ask the HR rep about the possibility of IF coverage.
The benefits leaflet, which I’d already memorized in the process of choosing among my choices of health plans available for the job, said that IF diagnostics were covered as well as IUIs but not IVF. I’m well beyond diagnostics and IUI now (but a year ago could have saved over $10k if I’d had this insurance). Now I am heading into IVF #2 with ICSI. Dr. Full Steam Ahead insisted that I seek out an IF rider on my new insurance because they are so easy to get, so in my supposedly-confidential-but-with-the-door-wide-open meeting with the HR lady, it was time to ask and prove that Dr. Full Steam Ahead was wrong and that I can’t possibly get IVF covered. I said, “There are some services that aren’t normally covered. I would like to find out about the possibility of getting an additional rider to cover those services.” “What services are those,” she asked? “Umm… these” (pointing to infertility in the leaflet). Here comes the good part.
Oh. Well I’d have to ask the rep from the insurance company, I just don’t know. I hear that those things are very expensive. It must be very exciting though!
Dumbfounded by her comment, I just sort of mumbled yes. Inside, I was saying:
Exciting? Are you fucking kidding me? The first few months I was trying to conceive it was exciting. The last six and a half years have been a lot of things, but exciting has never been an apt description.
And, a month later, I still haven’t gotten an answer about the rider.
Her comment reminded me of one of my many trips to the drugstore to buy pregnancy tests, when the drugstore clerk made a comment. Only the women ever make comments; the men are appropriately silent. The woman, probably around 30, looked at my 3-pack of tests and said:
Ooh, that must be exciting.
Instead of mumbling yes to humor her like I did with the HR lady, who actually has an impact on my life, I just stared at her quizzically. You see, there are many reasons why buying pregnancy tests would be far from exciting. Among them, unwanted or unplanned pregancies. Also among them, long-term infertility. In fact, between the number of tests purchased by each infertile women, plus all of the teens and women wishing “please G-d no”, I venture to say that the majority of pregnancy test purchases are not exciting.
Perhaps having a baby is exciting. I wouldn’t know. But the 40th home pregnancy test? IVF #2? Absolutely not. Anyone who has been there, or anyone who actually stopped to think about it, would choose a different word. Or maybe they would refrain from intrusive personal comments during a business transaction.