Fertility questions/Insurance Coverage

Updated on February 24, 2012
H.M. asks from Los Angeles, CA
27 answers

My insurance doesn't cover infertility, even something as basic as blood work to test hormone levels. Does anyone know of a facility that is low cost for out-of-pocket fertility expenses? We are at the beginning stages of just making sure the plumbing works. Any information would be appreciated.

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A.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

Try Dr. Hubert ###-###-####. He's in Encino and Thousand Oaks. He's compassionate and they work with you and are known for having the lowest prices. Please tell them I sent you.

Also I teach yoga for fertility - if you are ever intersted just e-mail me off line at [email protected]____.com.

I wish you all the best.

A.

2 moms found this helpful
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A.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

My name is A. and my husband and I have been trying for about a year. I have heard some great things about the OV watch. I just ordered one online and it will be here by Friday. Two of my girlfriends were having some issues and tried the Ov Watch and both got pregnant in the first month. Maybe you should look into it. You can look online about it at OVwatch.com. I will let you know how it works for me. My husband is not into going to see a fertility doctor so I am trying any other thing I can get my hands on. Hope everything work out for you.

A.

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N.J.

answers from Los Angeles on

I know that you can go to UCLA Dental School for low-cost dental work - performed by students but closely supervised. Maybe you can contact UCLA Medical School and see if they can help you.

If you haven't already, the first thing my friend's doc had her do was buy a fertility monitor, she discovered she ovulated a week later than she thought.

Good Luck!!!

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S.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

I love Dr.Paulson and Dr. Jain at USC Fertility. http://www.uscivf.org/
They have two different rates - one for insurance companies and one if you're paying yourself. I found them to be very reasonable. We tried two different doctors/clinics before landing at USC and found them to be head and shoulders above the rest. http://www.uscivf.org/abo_03_e.shtml

2 moms found this helpful
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S.F.

answers from Santa Barbara on

Hi H.,
You have gotten some great suggestions. Might I add some insight from my own experience? I started charting my temps through a chart I printed out from this website:
http://www.fertilityplus.org/faq/bbt/bbtfaq.html
Although I didn't get pregnant right away, I was able to see when I was ovulating. It also pointed out some abnormalities which led my doctor to the discovery of a 7 inch (YES!) and two other fibroid tumors. I had to have surgery to have them removed, but was pregnant three months later. In addition, I noticed that as soon as the fibroids were out, my cycles got very easy to track and I could easily see my fertile day(s). In fact, when I got pregnant, I knew long before the positive pregnancy test, because my temperatures stayed raised, and they hadn't before. So- I highly recommend tracking this to start. It will also help your doctor help you. In addition, I would try acupuncture. It has been proven in scientific studies to increase likelihood of conception. I was going to an acupuncturist at the time I got pregnant too. Mine was 50.00 per visit. Even out of pocket, it think it would have been money very well spent. If you are into something more esoteric, contact my friend Walter Makichen- clairvoyant and author of "Spirit Babies- How to communicate with the child you are meant to have". www.waltermakichen.com. It was so amazing to be able to communicate with our little guy long before we even conceived- and through Walter's meditation exercises, I was able to start feeling his presence which I also think helped conception.
Best of luck to you. I hope we hear some stellar news of your pregnancy soon!
S.

2 moms found this helpful
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D.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

I second the referral to Dr. Hubert - I'm currently 36 weeks after IVF #1 w/ him. He's wonderful.

You might also check for clinical trials. I know Huntington Reproductive often runs them. Many of the costs would then be covered.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful
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K.D.

answers from Las Vegas on

Hi H.. I went through infertility treatments and my benefits too were very minimal. Some of the begining things you would expect are an HSG (which you should definately get), have your husband visit his doctor and ask for a semen analysis, there are two blood tests you will need to take. They will also screen you for just about every STD...I think I had about 10 aids tests done by the end of it. They also did an ultrasound of my ovaries to scan for cysts. You may be able to talk your OB into doing those preliminary tests for you and if they can prove them necessary then your insurance SHOULD pay for them. One piece of advice I would give would be to tell your doctor you have been trying for over a year if you really think you need help. Most of the time they will not do anything for you until after that point. Im not sure where you live, but I live in Las Vegas and the place I went to cost about 125 per ultrasound and I think 150 for each bloodwork. They will probably try you on clomid first and I believe that ran me about 60 a months and that was all out of pocket. I did have to move on to injectables and those were VERY expensive...I believe the medication alone was about 1000 to 1500 a cycle. Luckily I only had to do one cycle of that and I now have two beautiful boys. One thing you might try is calling around to the verious clinics in your area and see if any will do a free consultation so you can get pricing or just ask and see if they will tell you. Although I can tell you if you take the meds you will want experienced doctors so try to go to the best doctors you can afford. Good Luck!!

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E.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

Have your regular Gyn refer you for the HSG (plumbing check) and insurance should cover it. I found that I was able to get insurance to cover some things if they were coded for a medical issue (pelvic pain for example) instead of for infertility. Your Gyn should be willing to help out. A lot of the preliminary tests (the HSG, bloodwork, etc.) can be ordered by your Gyn.

Have your husband's doctor refer him for a semen analysis. Your insurance may not pay this, but they are more likely to if it is ordered by a regular doctor and not a fertility center.

Then take all of your results to a fertility doctor. Do not waste a lot of time with your Gyn. I did that and in the end it cost me the ability to have a living bio child. Valuable time wasted at the beginning is time that your eggs are getting older. And yes, your eggs do become exponentially less viable with each passing month.

Huntington is the cheapest, but they don't have the best success rates. Maybe go to them initially. But if you end up needing IVF look for a center with high success rates as this may save you money in the long run. You can look up the success rates at the CDC (Center for Disease Control) website. Good luck!

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D.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

My husband is an herbal specialist in Chinese medicine, and my mother-in-law is a certified teacher in Natural Family Planning. Between these two things fertility can be taken very well care of! Plus, you can save yourself a heck of a lot of money. I would look into those two things, or I'd be more than happy to talk more with you!

1 mom found this helpful
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J.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

Sorry your insurance doesn't cover your needs, desires. I'm also in my mid-30s and have been married 6 years. After 3 years of trying to get pregnant, we got the chance to adopt an 8-year-old boy from Russia. We jumped at the opportunity and don't regret a thing! I highly recommend International Christian Adoptions, based in Temecula, CA. You can find them on the Web. Good luck and God bless you!

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V.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi H.,
This may not help at all, but the State of New York has a grant called the Demonstration Grant, for people who need high level fertility treatment and who don't have insurance plans that cover it. They may know of other similar plans or if you happen to have the opportunity to relocate for awhile, it might be something to do. Although that is a bit drastic.
~Val

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V.F.

answers from Los Angeles on

Dear H.,

My husband is a doctor specialising in nutritional therapy. He is located in Simi Valley. The initial blood panel he analyzes to see what might be causing you (or your husband's) infertility is $117. That covers about 50 different things. Other testing options include saliva hormone testing and stool testing for intestinal integrity.

You can email [email protected]____.com or see our website www.LiveHealthWise.com
This process is quite affordable compared to IVF treatment or medication.

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G.D.

answers from Reno on

Hi H.,

First of all I want to say take heart- you are not alone. The fertility roller coaster can be tough.

I have been through quite a bit in this department, but the good news is I now have three children.

I totally agree with the posts that recommend you try for a year(assuming you don't have anything else going on) and try to get all of the testing done at your regular OB.

That said, I thought would share some creative financing ideas if you get to that point. You might look into flex accounts at your work, where they can take money out of your check pretax and you spend it on medical bills only. It saves you money in the long run by saving you tax dollars. If you end up having to spend the big bucks (as my husband and I did) keep in mind there are places that will help you finance it... a special fertility loan as it were. My husband and I took $ out of his 401K. The advantage of this over a loan is that we paid the interest back to ourselves - not some bank- and when someone looks at your records they do not see a loan on your 401K because it was your own $ in the first place. So it doesn't effect your credit at all.
Also keep track of EVERYTHING you spend out of pocket because medical bills can be declaired on you taxes at the end of the year.
I would also suggest you check on any DRs record when you are picking a reproductive endocrinologist. Sure you want them to be affordable - but also see how often they have success. Having success the first try is cheeper than having to try 10 times.

It can be a long road. My first daughter was a three year, 40,000 dollar project. My twins on the other hand were more like 5,000 - because we had already figuered out our problems and magic drug combination. What abargin two for the price as well... : D

I have 'done it all' so if you (or anyone else for that matter)have any questions about procedures from a patients point of view- feel free.

G.

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R.E.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi H.!

Just another thought for you - you might try acupuncture. We were trying to have a baby for a year when I decided to try acupuncture since one of my friends had gotten pregnant after trying it. She needed Clomid the first pregnancy to encourage ovulation but wanted something more natural the second time around. So I went to Dr. Jung Kim of livingacu.com in Burbank. After three months of mostly weekly visits, I'm happy to say I was pregnant! He could even tell I was pregnant before a pregnancy test could! I think the acupuncture just helped my body balance out because I wasn't ovulating normally. Plus I think it helps with overall stress management and the needles do not hurt. It might be something to try before the more invasive fertility stuff. Plus, it's easy to do now while you're looking into other options. He even gave me a discount because he is affiliated with my HMO. I also read Taking Charge of Your Fertility and charted, too. That's how I knew I wasn't ovulating normally.

Good luck!!

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A.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

H., hello my name is Angela & my husband & myself are in your same boat. So whatever info u receive could u please post it to share w/me also.

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M.J.

answers from San Diego on

I second the advice to read Taking Charge of Your Fertility. Certainly cheaper than starting medical treatments, and there is a lot that Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) teaches us about our bodies that we were never taught in biology or sex ed. (but should!)

We got pregnant 6 months after stopping the Pill. I was 36 at that time and now sit here with a beautiful 2mo baby girl :)

If that doesn't work, then you can still turn to the medical community.

good luck!

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C.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

My insurance was the same. We went to Loma Linda for daily blood work for almost 2 weeks... they only do necessary things, especially if they know your insurance doesn't help. They are also good at wording things so insurance does pick up some. Good luck. I tried for 5 years and had my son when I was 31, hang in there.

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P.U.

answers from San Diego on

Any chances you can change your insurance before you start the process? Kaiser covers infertility; and all of the upfront testing...but, it could be the type of coverage with Kaiser. I know a friend of mine that had the entire process taken care of. Turned out they just needed the "plumbing" flushed & she got pregnant her next cycle. They are mid 30's also, and pregnant again! I'd be cautious of low cost; at least make sure they aren't low quality. Be SURE you get 2nd opinions. My husband & I were told 8 years ago that I was TOO OLD to get pregant, get a donor...find a surragate...my eggs were too old, etc.... ( I was 42 at the time) ... we are now the proud parents of two 18 month old twin girls...turns out I wasn't TOO OLD! Good luck...and....try to reduce ALL STRESS - that's part of the key to getting pregnant & a healthy pregnancy!

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J.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

I went to the Huntington Reproductive Center (HRC http://www.havingbabies.com) in Pasadena. They are highly respected, successful, and compassionate. Dr. Nelson was my doctor, but everyone I encountered there was great. My insurance did not cover infertility either. However, I found that if I submitted EVERYTHING, that I was able to get some things covered. I found HRC's prices much more reasonable that most of the west-side clinics. Plus they used to offer a 2 for 1 deal. (You pay a little higher price for 2 rounds of IVF vs. 1) It worked out well for us -- we have 5 year old twins now! Good luck!

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S.P.

answers from Los Angeles on

H.- I went through this myself and now have 10 month old twins (boy+girl). I saw Dr. Tina Koopersmith in Encino and she was extremely helpful. My Blue Cross HMO only covered the diagnostic testing so the minute I was diagnosed with 'infertility' issues-nothing was covered. That being said she was able to work with my insurance to figure out other issues-I had cysts in my ovaries and she performed laparscopic (sp?) surgery to clean me out which helped a lot. Also my clomid WAS covered by Rx coverage and I would be surprised if yours wasn't as well. It's so widely used. My only other input/thoughts would be if possible to try looking at high deductible health plans - the Health Savings Account compatible plans. The money from Health Savings Account can be used to cover infertility expenses as it is a 'qualified medical expense' according to the IRS. My husband has a Health Savings Account funded by his employer that ended up paying for our insemination! We would never have been able to do it otherwise. If you want to look into HSA's I actually change my personal health plan at work to one as well and I do my HSA banking with www.sterlinghsa.com. Best of luck!

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J.M.

answers from Las Vegas on

I understand where your coming from. I don't know of any places out here, but maybe my story will help you. I have been with my husband for 10 years and we have 2 adorable children. However, it took me 4 years of trying to get pregnant before I finally got pregnant. I had 2 pregnancies back to back that were miscarriages. 2 years later I gave birth to my son (Age 4 now ). So that was 7 years after we got together. Then 3 years later I got pregnant with my 2nd boy with no issues. I know of the emotional roller coaster you go through when trying to conceive. But keep trying. If you decide to go that way, I hope you find someone to help.

J.

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A.K.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hey H.!

Try the Los Angeles Cryobank for fertility testing -

Los Angeles, CA
11915 La Grange Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90025
###-###-####

AND for further fertility info try -

Southern California Reproductive Clinic
450 N. Roxbury Drive
Suite 500
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
###-###-####

ALL TOGETHER we paid approx. $650 and that included ALL necessary bloodwork, fertility testing for my husband, ALL necessary prescriptions, and 2 months of IUI. We were successful on our 2nd try!

Each IUI costs LESS than $200.00!!

*We were referred to all of the above by my amazing ob/gyn - Dr. Scott Serden out of Cedars-Sinai Hospital.

Good luck to you!

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N.G.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi H.,
I know of friends who have had infertility. And all they said was it was worth it but VERY EXPENSIVE. My husband and I started "trying" and we "tried" for over a year. I was all set to have surgery for my endomitiosis but I just found out I'm pregnant. After I commited myself to say no more heart break month after month it happened all on its own. I was under the impression that I wouldn't be able to get pregnant w/o help of infertility. At least that's what the Dr's said. I think when your trying your putting alot of pressure and stress on yourself. Honestly stop "trying" enjoy the time practicing w/ your hubby. :-) And maybe it will happen for you. Start w/ calling your ins yourself and see what they can do. I used to work for a healh care group. Infertility is not covered but there are some things that they will pay a piece of. Good Luck!!

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D.A.

answers from Los Angeles on

I am insurance agent. What is the Carrier you are on? and is this with a Group or Individual/family only plan?
Maybe I can search for you who does offer this. Might want to consider changing if you can. Does it cover Maternity at least? Call if I can assist you.
deborah alpert ###-###-#### [email protected]____.com

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H.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi H.,
A friend of mine saw Susan Minich at the Burbank Healing arts Center on Victory. She is a nurse midwife, acupuncturist and herbalist. Her number is ###-###-####. Good luck!

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C.K.

answers from Detroit on

hoping s.f. from santa barbara can tell us where the fertility joining place is located that the late walter makechen mentioned in his book spirit babies.

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J.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

My husband and I tried to get pregnant with our first for 9 months. I read "Taking Charge of Your Fertility" and was able to conceive less than 3 months later. We've had two more pregnancies since that happened the first time we tried. You might consider reading that book just to make sure you understand all the "plumbing" and what your own fertile signs are. Good luck.

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