You have survived another child-less Mother’s Day, now what?

May 14, 2013Carole No Comments »

If you are one of the one -in -six or one-in-eight couples who want to be parents, but it’s not working for you, it’s time to get mad. There are two kinds of infertility, medical fertility – which is very treatable– and financial infertility which is a much more difficult problem.

If you have a medical problem and can’t get pregnant, your odds of pregnancy become excellent if you can go to a high quality IVF program and avail yourself of a diagnostic work up followed up by one or more of these: superovulation with intercourse or insemination, IVF with or without ICSI, donor egg, donor sperm, donor embryo, or use of a gestational surrogate. Some combination of the above will solve pretty much everyone’s infertility depending on how far you are willing to go with technical interventions. It’s perfectly fine to draw the line at some point and say, Okay, that’s enough for me. I don’t feel comfortable with “fill in the blank”. That’s not unfair or unreasonable. What is unfair and unreasonable is when technical interventions you want are not available to you because you can’t afford them. That’s financial infertility. My international readers can tune out here because many of them have national healthcare that includes infertility treatment. Most of the people in the US don’t have an infertility insurance.

So what are you going to do about that? Nothing? How’s that working out for you?

Last Wednesday was Resolve’s National Advocacy Day, and lots of people affected by infertility went to DC to encourage our legislators to consider working on legislation to make infertility treatment accessible to everyone.  You can follow Tweets from Advocacy Day. There was a lot of excitement and Resolve advocates were able to encourage Rep. John Lewis (GA) to reintroduce the Family Act into the US House as bill HR 1851. From Resolve, here is a description of the Bill:

“The Family Act (S 881/HR 1851) creates a tax credit for individuals who have been diagnosed as infertile by a licensed physician and undergo in-vitro fertilization (IVF).  This bill will cover medical procedures, prescription medications, professional charges, the transfer of embryo and other necessary costs when a taxpayer undergoes in-vitro fertilization treatments. The Family Act also covers the out-of-pocket costs of fertility preservation if the woman or man has cancer or another disease that will render them sterile.”

There’s already a tax credit for adoption. This offers a tax credit for infertility treatments too which again, seems only fair. A tax credit is much less than a covered benefit but it is a start. Of course, if you can’t afford to pay the fees upfront, a tax credit on your expenses doesn’t help you at all.

I know times are hard and the drum beat of reducing government spending goes on. But here is the bottom line. THE GOVERNMENT WILL SPEND OUR TAX DOLLARS. THE ISSUE IS NOT WILL MONEY BE SPENT, THE ISSUE IS HOW WILL THE MONEY BE SPENT ? The government will fund its priorities. It’s your job as the people to let the government know what YOUR priorities are.

If you are still listening, here are some of the things you can do:

Resolve’s Take Action Page shows pending legislation and steps to get your legislators’ attention.

Ever wonder where your state ranked as far as being Infertility Friendly? Check it out here on this Fertility Scorecard on the map of the US.

Go to the Fertility Within Reach Advocacy Page to Empower Yourself  and “cure” yourself of financial infertility.HFind step by step advice on how to talk to your HR department about including infertility as a benefit in your insurance plan, how to talk to your legislator or your insurance provider. There’s even advice on how to talk to your doctor about a better deal. Your doctor may offer payment plans or discounts you don’t know about.

Your local Resolve Chapter support group may be organizing for action. If not, you can suggest ways to get moving in that chapter or start a new chapter.

Once you decide to get involved, there are lots of resources and groups to join with to advocate. But deciding that you are finally mad enough to get involved is the first step.

 

 

 

 

 

© 2013, Carole. All rights reserved.

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