I work for a state-university, so one of the perks of the job has always been really good benefits options--namely health insurance. I've always considered the options and services fairly impressive--though not "super-duper". Like many, they didn't cover IVF, but covered 50% until meeting a yearly co-pay of $1,000 on all other infertility treatments, after which everything else (again, excluding IVF) was covered 100%. I admit that I haven't explored many other options out there, but sounds pretty reasonable, right?
Well now, our poor state is in a bit of a budget crunch--as are many other institutions these days. I knew that rates and services and coverage were going to change...but I wasn't prepared for them to completely cut out any infertility coverage. It's all gone:
Infertility counseling, diagnosis, and treatment previously covered at 50% up to $1,000 per member or $2,000 per family will no longer be covered. Medical services for infertility will be the responsibility of the member.
I can feel my stress level rising as I type that. Gosh, I'm glad we got those tests done last year. For the most part, I believe that my RE is seen as just a "Specialist" (thus a $30 co-pay, though it was previously only $20), rather than exclusively as "Infertility Treatment" (which is no longer covered at all). And luckily, it seems like my RE often charges me for just "Regular" OB/GYN types of visits rather than even at the "Specialist" level (and OB/GYN visits were the one and only service that didn't change from the $10 co-pay). But perhaps that may change too.
Thinking back to my previous "What's 'Right' With Me" post, I may not ever even need insurance that covers infertility. I've conceived naturally three times now, so something is working without too much intervention. But then again, I've also lost all three babies in the first trimester...so perhaps I really could benefit from coverage. And if I think beyond myself, what about the couples relying on these benefits that really do in fact need extended infertility coverage? I imagine that their hearts are breaking right now.
I guess it might be time to look at what my husband's insurance is covering...
But as for blessings, I do realize that it is such a huge blessing to have health insurance! So I'm disappointed that the coverage has decreased for areas that I see as vital, but I hope that this isn't construed as "complaining".