The One Where I Spend Two Months Rent on Drugs

First off, my apologies for not writing sooner.  I’m happy to see the continued correlation between my taking a blogging break and several of you ladies getting pregnant. To all of you now on your way, my sincerest, heartfelt congratulations.

Unlike before, this break wasn’t for my own sanity. I’ve just been busy. Nothing exciting , but nothing terrible. I went to visit my folks and had some truly beautiful visits with my mom (who is still in the hospital. We just hit the one year mark.) I’ve also been insanely busy at work. So I haven’t had a lot of time to obsess over my upcoming IVF treatment.

Which has started. And started off poorly, I might add.

I got a call from Dr. Petrel’s office on Thursday that my IVF treatment was approved. Perfect timing, since my CD1 was just around the corner. On Friday, I got a call from the pharmacy asking if I’d like my meds delivered or if I wanted to pick them up. Wonderful. Things appear to be going smoothly.

On Saturday, shit gets real. As in real bad. At 9:00, the pharmacy calls and says that Incompetence Insurance requires two authorization codes– one for treatment, and one for the drugs. Though they’ve approved the treatment plan, I don’t have authorization for my medication. Because it is the weekend, no one is around to get authorization. And at noon, I get my period. Panic ensues.

I spent the next several hours playing a desperate game of phone tag with my doctor’s office, the nurse on call, and the pharmacy. I cried at four different people. Repeatedly. By 4:45, I had exhausted every possibility and realized I had to pay for the start of my meds out of pocket. Two mother fucking months rent on Gonal-F, ladies. I have until Wednesday to get an authorization code for the rest of my meds, or I’m SCREWED.

First thing this morning, I called the pharmacy and asked if their team was on the case. They claim to have faxed over the forms to my doctor’s office. I called Dr. Petrel’s office. They can’t find the fax, AND their computers are down so they can’t really do anything. Well, of course… If I don’t hear back in an hour, I’m phone stalking EVERYONE.

In the name of all that is holy, why would my insurance approve IVF treatment but not the medication? I’m so done with Incompetence Insurance. Just two weeks ago, they tried to deny a claim on the anesthesiologist for my hysteroscopy. Because that was optional? What? After I pointed out that a) this occurred in a hospital covered by my plan, and b) there wasn’t a way to have the procedure without it, they finally agree to accept the claim.

What makes me angriest about all this is that insurance companies prey on people when we are at our most vulnerable. Like when I’m recovering from a hysteroscopy. Or when standing at a reception desk crying because I can’t get the medication I need.

According to the pharmacy, the “good” news is the Incompetence says no, but then says yes. And they usually approve things retroactively. In the meantime, if I don’t get the authorization by Wednesday, I have no idea what I’m going to do.

Quick- which bodily organs can I sell that are also not required for a healthy pregnancy?

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19 comments

  1. My Perfect Breakdown · November 10, 2014

    Oh, this just sounds sooo stressful, and you clearly don’t need this kind of stress right now!! I am desperately hoping that everything gets approved by Wednesday without too much stalking on your behalf!!

    • thecommonostrich · November 10, 2014

      Fo’ REAL. Like anyone needs more stress on top of medical treatment.

      At the time of last stalking, insurance has all the forms they need. Cross your fingers!

  2. Elizabeth · November 10, 2014

    Insurance companies can indeed make you homicidal. Sorry you started your IVF with a total fire drill. I had a similar experience with the mail order pharmacy my insurance requires. Hang in there!

    • thecommonostrich · November 10, 2014

      If there is a silver lining, I’ve been so distracted by this crapfest that I was nonplussed when it came time for the actual injections. 😉

  3. AndiePants · November 10, 2014

    REALLY?! What a total pain in the ass for you! Medications are the cornerstone of treatment for IVF! How could they approve one and not the other? I am sending prayers to the insurance gods that things get taken care of quickly for you!!

    • thecommonostrich · November 10, 2014

      I know. I KNOW. However invents insurance policies is doing so with half their brain.

      My dr’s office is being a total rockstar, and have all the forms over to the insurance company now. Maybe I should put their 800 number on speed dial?

  4. labmonkeyftw · November 10, 2014

    Nooo!! Oh, this sounds so very very awful. I have nightmares about this kind of scenario. In any other course of treatment it would either be something you HAD to have no question, or something you could plan for in advance, but fertility is so damn URGENT right after waiting around twiddling your thumbs. Ugh, Ostrich, I’m so sorry you are dealing with this. Hopefully the claim will be processed retroactively and you’ll get your moneys back.

    • thecommonostrich · November 10, 2014

      That’s totally true- other things can get put off a day or two, but timing is essential to this business. Why would you make this harder than it already is? Because idiots, that’s why.

      Oh, if I don’t get my money back, EVERYONE will hear about it. I’m already crafting a note to the benefits team at my company about this.

      RAGE.

  5. thebarrenlibrarian · November 10, 2014

    This is awful, I’m sorry. It almost makes me feel better that my insurance just doesn’t cover IF treatment (and I TOTALLY get you on the whole two months of mortage payments for Gonal-F-that’s how much I spent for our last IUI cycle just on the drugs). I really hope things get straightened out.

    • thecommonostrich · November 10, 2014

      I have never had to work so hard for such terrible service in my life.

      When they told me how much Gonal-F cost, I immediately burst into tears. (That was the second person I cried at on Saturday.) Though I hate my insurance company with the burning heat of 1,000 suns, I cannot imagine how I could swing IVF without it.

      • thebarrenlibrarian · November 10, 2014

        If we hadn’t had success in another IUI cycle or so we were going to start saving for IVF, and it would have taken us A WHILE. When I mentioned IF insurance coverage to the lady at our work that handles our benefits she said “Oh, we’ll never have that. You might as well be asking us to cover cosmetic surgery.” She quickly went on to clarify that she just meant that in a cost comparison, but it was definitely a punch to the gut.

        also, can you work with Freedom Fertility Pharmacy? They were nothing but amazingly helpful to us. And we qualified for the EMD Serono compassionate care plan which entitled us to 50% off our drugs, which was amazingly helpful.

      • thecommonostrich · November 10, 2014

        Yeah, as much as I hate these weirdos, I also appreciate how much of the bill they’ll cover at the end. Definitely a necessary evil at this point, however.

        In my frenzy on Saturday, I looked into reduced rates. But the insurance company would reject my reimbursement claim if I purchased them at this lower rate. Basically, I’m taking a gamble that they’ll retroactively reimburse me. Since they approved the treatment plan, I’m pretty sure they’ll do it. (They’ve done this for me in the past with other visits.)

      • thebarrenlibrarian · November 10, 2014

        Well I will hope for the best for you!

  6. julieann081 · November 10, 2014

    I am so very sorry that you are going through all of this!!! 😦 HUGS! ❤

    • thecommonostrich · November 10, 2014

      Thanks, doll.

      If there is an upside, I was so distracted by all this I had no time to work myself into a frenzy over my first injection. 😉

  7. Haisla · November 11, 2014

    I’m so sorry that you are having to deal with this kind of nonsense!! Isn’t it ironic that we are told to reduce stress in our lives when approaching IVF and then the insurance companies throw these kinds of spanners in the works. It sounds like someone somewhere needs to be throttled (not that I condone or encourage violence). I really, really hope that all turns out well in the end. Hugs.x

    • thecommonostrich · November 11, 2014

      So true. I went on a rant about this with the nurse at my dr’s office. Just when I need to be focused and calm, these inane policies are making me crazy.

  8. Jennie · November 11, 2014

    I am sorry you are going through all of this. Insurance companies are infuriating! I do like the way you wrote this. I like how the title reminds me of an episode of Friends. I hope you get all this straightened out.

    • thecommonostrich · November 11, 2014

      Nerd Alert: I’m so happy some one noticed my Friends reference!

      I’m trying hard not to be a cow about this– the people I speak with aren’t really the root of this problem. I’m just so enraged by the whole thing, it’s hard not to take it out on the poor sucker who picks up my call.

      (Written while on hold with my insurance company.)

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