Do you ever feel overwhelmed with the mounting costs of infertility treatments? For many couples, the financial strain associated with trying to conceive is an uphill battle in itself! Fortunately, our friends at Fertility Within Reach are doing some wonderful work and providing expertise on how to ask your insurance company to cover health care related to infertility.
Davina Fankhauser, president of Fertility Within Reach, was recently interviewed for an article in MONEY Magazine called “Waiting for Baby. $55,000 and Counting,” which chronicles the family-building journey of Carrie and Dan Zampich (read the full story and see a video of the couple here). Along with Atlanta-based financial planner Lee Baker, Fankhauser offers the following suggestions to Carrie and Dan for working with their insurance company and saving money throughout their infertility journey:
- Press for more coverage from your insurance company.
- Appeal for reimbursement.
- Melt the plastic.
- Be stingier.
- Get priorities straight.
“You have to be your own advocate,” says Fankhauser. Review your insurance policy carefully and discuss exactly what is covered with your benefits specialist. Discuss ways to maximize your coverage and identify negotiating points that you can leverage with the insurance company.
Treatment for the same condition may be covered by insurance if it’s characterized as a medical problem but not covered if infertility is cited as the reason for care, says Fankhauser. Be sure to take advantage of these situations and petition your insurance company to cover any treatments or procedures for symptoms that could be attributed to other medical conditions.
Credit card bills can rack up quickly for couples undergoing infertility treatment. Baker suggests designating a monthly amount that you are comfortable with to pay down credit card debts. Identify credit cards with the highest interest rate and pay those down first.
Sit down and log monthly expenses and spending. Look for areas where you may be spending in excess and create a reasonable budget that allows you to devote more income to paying off debts and saving for the future.
Baker says that the Zampich’s No. 1 goal should be to build an emergency fund that would cover at least six months’ worth of their expenses. This includes budgeting for a contribution to their retirement account and keeping an eye toward future costs associated with parenthood, such as childcare, and life/disability insurance.
For more information on how to cut costs during infertility treatment, please read this additional article (where Fankhauser is also featured), or click here for a full list of infertility and finance resources.