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3/14/2015

Flaunting My Entitled Feels: Why IVF Coverage and Mental Health Coverage Are One and the Same

Several years ago I got a little flak around the Interwebs (I mean, in the extremely limited sphere of influence I had here then; even smaller now) for asserting that I had a right to coverage for eating disorder treatment: that coverage of mental health issues ought not to be treated any differently than coverage of physical health issues.

At the time, the awesome (retired) bloggers Pepper & Paprika shared the post on their FB page (this is when FB was still social-medially [not a real phrase] relevant) and some dillweed hopped on there and called me entitled.

Damn skippy, I'm entitled.

In years past it's probably come up here that the husband's family is Jewish.  I bring this up because, if we had really wanted to, with some measure of hoop-jumping (since I'm not Jewish) we could make aliyah to Israel if we wanted.

Why might we want to?  Well, IVF is subsidized in Israel (for citizens) up to two take-home babies, up through age 42.  (This also goes for egg preservation.)

Without getting into any political debates here about the country policies in other areas, because this is not that discussion: you want to talk about a "pro-life" sort of stance?  I will point you right over there, to the country that makes it possible for the people having the most trouble bringing life into the world... to bring life into the world.

Joining Israel in the list of countries that include significant IVF coverage: Argentina, Germany, Australia, South Korea, Singapore, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, France, Italy, Finland, the U.K., Quebec... I could go on.

Guess what the average IVF cycle cost is in the U.S.?  $15-30K, when all is said and done.   We have states that "mandate" coverage, but it's laughably easy for employers to opt out of said mandate. And I can tell you firsthand that being in a state with mandated coverage means zilch for plans purchased on that state's healthcare exchange.  My plan doesn't even cover Lupron, a drug used in some IVF protocols but originally developed for prostate cancer, endometriosis, and precocious puberty.  So if the husband develops prostate cancer, I guess we're shit of out of luck?

Even though I'm getting crickets when I talk about IVF here, I'm going to keep doing it.  I went into our infertility journey certain I would never agree to IVF.  It was "just something I can't see myself going through." It needs to be talked about, and in my opinion, it needs to be normalized.

It's hard to envision this country ever rousing up more universal support for ART (assisted reproductive technologies), largely because of the increasingly vocal minority that lobbies against any kind of control over reproduction.

So the only thing for it is to keep talking about it.  You want to be pro-life?  You want more wanted children brought into this world?  Well, gee, that's exactly what the husband and I are trying to do.  We're trying to create a new life, and we can't do it the old-fashioned way. The thing is, we live in this place called the 21st century.  It's time to start collectively acting like it.

3 comments:

  1. My sister in law got heavily subsidized IVF treatments in Spain for both of her pregnancies. I do not understand a pro-life country that makes it hard for people who want children to have them, hard for people who don't want children not to have them, and is content to not educate or provide health care for children here, and then execute them if they break laws. With logic like this, you'd think they'd value (non IVF) fetuses over living mothers. Oh... Wait a minute...

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  2. Funny how that matches up, isn't it?

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