Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Insurance is My New Hobby & A Glimmer of Good News

After the insurance company started jacking me around, I was totally lost.   How can an insurance plan both cover and exclude IVF?  It makes no sense!  I paid a TON of money for this insurance, and now they are saying they don't even cover the reason I signed up for it?  Health insurance is screwed up in the US, people.  Seriously screwed up.  But you probably already knew that.

Well, I'm barren with nothing better to do, so I have made the insurance company my new hobby.  I am nearing what is called "exhaustion," which means I have almost done all I can within the insurance company.  It is appropriately named.  I did every claim separately, I appealed, appealed, appealed, met every deadline, provided every document.  I faxed hundreds of documents to a half dozen people and agencies.  There's even a delightful laproscopic photo of my deformed lady bits I always include.

I got the state involved.  I now have something called an ombudsman.  The first round didn't work with the state, but hell no, I'm not done.  The second round has been out for months, I think even the state is confused.  It is now on responses to responses to responses.  There are a lot of forms involved, a lot of people.  I am annoying as hell, but I'm not going anywhere.  I've got all day, and I can get a lot louder.

The next step would be to lawyer up and sue, and that's where I'm out of my depth.  This has to be in federal court and has some kind of process called ERISA, and I am TERRIFIED of losing my anonymity in a public court.  There's also maybe one more state appeal.

But something good happened!

While I was screaming very loudly, the insurance coughed up some cash!  They paid for the scans, the non-embryology labs, most of the drugs, and every itemized part they could, down to the hydrocodone and the Crinone.  That left my bill at about $8,000, and about half of that is CCS, which we knew would be out of pocket anyway, plus the straight fertility drugs, about $3,000, and anesthesia.  The anesthesia bill is in collections, so it's either the $550 cash price or the $1000 billed to insurance price.  No idea.

I think this is intended to back me off.  And don't get me wrong, this is pretty awesome.  But I made it this far.  The insurance company LIED to me.  I'm fighting for the women who don't have the resources I have, and I'm not going to shut up until they make me.

Monday, February 1, 2016

A Tepid Love Letter to Lovenox

Now that I have some blood clotting nonsense, I have $1,400 worth of Lovenox injection in the top shelf of my closet which nobody has ever explained.  I take it sometimes, when it seems like it might matter.  Plane rides.  Ovulation.  A couple weeks until my period comes.  Then I give up a while.  Sometimes I take some aspirin.  It has no side effects, so, whatever.

Sperm Donor asked why I keep taking it, and well, I don't want a blood clot on a plane.  I fly more than once a week, and that would be a shitty way to die.  Thanks infertility!  At least you saved me from dying on a plane from a blood clot.  After all I've been through, THIS is not how I'm going to die, and THIS is not going to be how I lose another baby.

Lovenox is physically a tough shot, worse than any in IVF.   (Except maybe PIO?  I never had that one.) Lovenox's needle is thick, and the medicine is gel.  Bonus, there's an air bubble at the end!  The packaging says the air bubble will reduce bruising.  This is a lie.  My stomach is always covered in bruises.  I done it fast, I've done it slow, 45 degrees, lying down, cold press, whatever, doesn't help.  Sometimes I hit a part that is too hard, even for this nasty needle.  I think this is literally scar tissue from Lovenox.  I think IVF has literally left me scarred.

The weirdest thing I noticed was that I can't even feel the needle anymore.  I look for a soft spot and just do it.  Watching the needle go into flesh, it seems like it's someone else, because I don't even notice.  What?  I CAN'T EVEN FEEL THIS GIANT SHOT ANYMORE.  Maybe needles don't actually hurt that much, and it was in my head?  Or maybe my stomach has been through so much, that it is literally numb now.  Like me, I guess.