Sunday, January 25, 2009

It's the money, honey

This is my first post about all the $$$ IF treatments are going to cost us -- there will probably be many more. At this point, the idea of spending thousands of dollars to have the chance to get pregnant is probably the most difficult part of this for my DH. I, being the one with strong maternal instincts and a biological clock, choose to ignore it for the most part. The money aspect of IF adds insult to injury.

Maybe we won't need to spend the money. We could get pregnant on our own. We are very, very lucky to have some insurance coverage. Seriously, I'm sorry for even bringing this topic up when I know there are many of you with NO coverage at all. So I know we're lucky, but in the big picture plan the $5000 lifetime max of coverage we have with no meds included doesn't feel like it will go very far.

Since I'm a planner, I'm planning ahead. I already convinced DH to save almost all of the money we got as Christmas bonuses at work and as gifts from family (it wasn't hard to convince him, he would save everything and live like a minimalist if it weren't for me). I opened a short term savings account to put that money in so it's not mixed with any of our other funds. I plan to add to it the First Time Homebuyer's Tax Credit that we plan on taking on our 2008 income taxes. If you bought your first house between April 9, 2008 and July 1, 2009 you can take this $7500 credit. It's really an interest free loan from the government that needs to be repaid over 15 years, so it's not free money or anything. BUT it will certainly be a nice cushion if we have a lot of medical expenses in the years ahead.

I also feel like I don't want to spend any extra money on anything. In my last post so many of you gave great suggestions to relax this cycle, but I honestly don't want to spend the money to do any of them! My IL's invited us to go on vacation with them in the spring. They would get our plane ticket and we would pay for the rest of our own expenses, which is a great deal! And since we bought our house last year, we really haven't been on any vacations in over a year. But all of this would take money out of our nice little "in case I have to buy a baby" fund and I don't know if I want to do that.

Also, mortgage interest rates are at historic lows. We have a great rate on a 30 year fixed, but I think we could get an even better one if we refinanced. My FIL suggested we call to find out. M did the math and you really can save over the lifetime of the loan that he thinks we should look into it. But I am resisting -- that would eat up so much of our baby fund!! Am I being impractical?

I don't want IF to rule my life. Not to be pessimistic, but this could go on for a while and I don't want to live my life in a holding pattern. At the same time, I want to save wisely with the possibility of IF treatments in mind. Decisions, decisions. :)


Mary said...

Couples with infertility get the short end of the stick in SO many ways. It makes me sad. It's good that you're planning ahead. We borrowed against our house this month to pay for the RE treatments. WTH? The things we have to do to have a baby. Keep your chin up and maybe you won't end up having to spend anymore money...maybe you will get pg naturally once DH 'heals':)

Caroline said...

Hi Hillary,

Good on you for thinking ahead about IF. One of the most difficult things that I find is the fact that it is uncertain. You don't know whether you will fall pregnant naturally or whether you will need to save a lot of $ to pay for treatment. If only we knew what lies ahead!
I try to take the middle ground and have some money put aside for IF. But I won't put off a holiday either (because I don't want IF to rob me of my life).
Good luck with your decision. You sound very wise and practical. I know you will do the right thing for you.

Cara said...

Hoping you do get pregnant on your own and can put the "Extra" money in savings!


Annie said...

It sucks that meds and treatment for IF is SO expensive. Even just the progesterone I am on is a lot per bottle and not covered by my insurance (which makes the blow greater because I am used to spending $6 or so on prescriptions because usually our coverage is great). But then you add a lot of other meds or treatments and it gets so expensive. I think you are wise to plan and prepare yourselves. I hope you can find that balance between planning and not living your life in a holding pattern (((hugs)))

I hope things work out for you and maybe you guys will get pregnant on your own and that will make all of this a bit easier on you!


Andrea said...

I'm with you. I want to save every extra penny so IF doesn't take our entire savings. As is IF doesn't suck enough, then the expense of everything makes it even worse! Good luck to you and I hope you don't need to use your savings account towards a baby!!


Find joy in every journey said...

The $ aspect of IF can just be the icing on the cake. Luckily, since we have gone through an in network dr. and they bill as PMS or ovulation dysfunction everything has been paid for. Except our trip to NYC to see Dr. Toth ( was mostly cash. We only got about 25% back from insurance but it was totally worth it. I never had brown spotting, irregular cycles, or really bad PMS before getting married. Dr. Toth found that we both had infections that caused this and now after going on antibiotics I feel like myself. I would highly suggest any couple struggling with IF to get his book and read it cover to cover. It would have saved us so much time and emotional energy if we had found him early on. Let me know if you have any questions!

April said...

it's so funny that you said "buy a baby". i say that all of the time. "yes, we could get a new plasma tv if we didn't have to buy a baby" :)

it is so expensive, i know.

lostintranslation said...

It's horrible that IF treatment is so expensive. Great that you're planning ahead though and putting money in savings. However, I would not exclude a vacation - if you think you can afford it, go with them, or otherwise try to find something a bit closer to home/cheaper. Having a break every now and then from daily life, especially during IF, is really important I think. Good luck with everything!

Anonymous said...

People on the IF train get the short stick. I went to the Citizen's Briefing Book and one lady wrote, "Universal health care should not pay for infertility." When I challenged her on it she replied, "It is so expensive for a risky treatment." Yet... we pay for people who are drunk and crash into someone. Yeah that makes sense. Sorry IF and money make me upset on how unfair things are.

Here is to a short ride on the train.

Thanks for stopping by my blog for ICLW...
No. 3: The Unfair Struggle (male-factor IF, friendship, life on the ice)

Leigh said...

Hello! I think you're very wise to plan ahead.

We first went on a very expensive holiday (to the UK from South Africa) when we decided to go for IVF because I didn't know what would happen once we started.

Then my annual performance bonus nearly paid for one and our second came out of savings. Thank God I'm pregnant now because you are so right - I used to think in IVF currency. "we can't spend that - it's 2 days of medication"

Oh, absolutely NOTHING is covered in South Africa. Not a single cent.

Fallopian 'Tudes said...

I think you're doing things just right - and refinance your mortgage if you can because you will thank yourself for it later. But yeah it's hard to think in terms of tomorrow's savings when you're also saving for your life you're trying to have right now :(

Anita said...

Money, money,'s always an issue when it comes to IF. We're actually facing alot of the same questions you are as we look into a 2nd, fun, fun, NOT! :)


Anonymous said...

Remind me never to complain about the costs of AC again.

We are so lucky in Australia, and I hope that your new President takes a long look at how affordable universal healthcare has been instituted here.

It's still not dirt cheap, but is affordable for the majority of Australians.