Monthly Archives: January 2012

Infertility: Family Act of 2011

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My wife and I spent tens of thousands of dollars to have our daughter with the assistance of fertility clinics. The heartbreak and emotion involved with dealing with infertility issues is a burden that can break many people and break up many couples. The finances of paying for the infertility process is a nother animal all of its own. We were fortunate on many fronts. Our insurance covered a good amount of our journey. Our insurance actually covered one of our IVF cycles. The covered cycled failed just as numerous IUI cycles had. We financed the IVF cycle that gave us our daughter. This is the other front we were fortunate with: we could afford to pay for treatments. We paid over $16,000 out of our pocket for our last cycle. If that cycle had failed we would have had nothing to show for it but a ton of pain. We had that before we started the last cycle.

Infertility is far more common than many people know. Couples spend their life savings pursuing the dream of parenthood only to come up empty-handed and in some cases divorced. Only a handful of states require health insurance companies to give some form of coverage for couples that suffer from infertility and require IVF as a possible solution. It is very likely that there are hundreds of thousands of couple that have insurance that covers the process but struggle to cover any residual costs. Some people will say if they cannot afford the fertility treatments then how can they afford a child. Coming up with $16,000 is a lot different from regular day-to-day expenses of having and caring for a child.

Having children may help people to live healthier and longer lives. It gives some people purpose and makes them want to be the best version of themself. For the families that fight and beat infertility it may lead to healthier mental health. I am not a doctor but anything that leads to healthier living should be at least considered for some coverage by health insurance companies and tax credits.

The Family Act of 2011 (s 965,  H.R. 3522) is a bill introduced to the senate in May of 2011 by NY Senator Gillibrand and to the House of Representatives in November of 2011 by Representative John Lewis. The bill seeks to create a tax credit that gives some relief for out-of-pocket expenses that come along with fertility treatment. It is a tax cut that has a ceiling for the people that use it. This bill can help give unrealized families an option to help afford fertility treatments. Please consider contacting your State representatives and ask them to support this Bill. Spread the word of its existance. There should be options for families going through what is a very difficult time for people who struggle with personally reachable solutions for infertility issues. Make no mistake that fertility treatments will still be very expensive even with this tax credit but it lightens the load and gives more people a chance to have and love a child. That is a very worthy Bill.

As I said my wife and I were lucky but life is very short and if someone is willing to put them through the rigors of  the IVF process the odds are very good they will be a very loving dedicated parent that may birth a child that may help solve the very fertility issues that their parents faced. By passing this Bill it helps fertility clinics grow and growth means stable jobs. This bill is a no brainer. Please consider contacting your representative and ask for their support of the Bill. Below are links that give more information about this worthy cause.

 http://www.resolve.org/get-involved/infertility-tax-credit.html

Link to the Senate Bill: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112s965is/html/BILLS-112s965is.htm

Link to the House Bill: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr3522ih/pdf/BILLS-112hr3522ih.pdf

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Infertility: Baby Troubles and the Workplace

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When my wife and I were dealing with our infertility problems I was pretty open at work about our struggles. Most everyone I spoke to was pretty understanding and interested in knowing about the process of having a baby with the assistance of fertility doctors, needles and medication, and many many many appointments. Fertility treatments mean doctors appointments by the dozens and I was lucky that my boss at the time was very flexible in letting me attend them with my wife.

The guys I was closest to would think it was funny to tell me that they would “pinch hit” for me to help us realize our baby dreams. That was somewhat funny the first few times but after a while it got under my nerves. Most of the questions I got where about how IVF or IUI worked. I was the resident expert. If I looked the least bit down I had a small circle that was great about asking how it was going. I was surrounded by some pretty amazing people who backed us up all the way to my daughters birth five years later. I was lucky though because they were so supportive. I did have one person tell me that maybe God just wanted that way. That never sat well with me. A word of advice to anyone who has deep religious beliefs that would make you say such things to someone: keep that crap to yourself. It is incredibly rude, close minded, and quite frankly who are you to speak for God in the first place?

If you are going to try an IVF cycle you will need to be very organized especially if you are planning appointments around work. If you choose to tell your co workers be ready to possibly deal with some judgement issues or possibly people knowing about your business that don’t even know your last name. If a cycle fails you may have to tell your story over and over to every co-worker that knows about your journey. If  you open your book it will be read and there may be critics. There are always critics. Sometimes we confuse co-workers with true friends. In some cases this is possible but in some cases your life could be their live action soap opera that they gossip about when as you pine away at your desk. You also need to be careful what you share because some supervisors may feel your ongoing  journey is having a bad influence on your work. In todays work environment you have to be very careful what you share because there are unscrupulous bosses that will use it to their advantage. If you choose to share be sure that what you share you would not be ashamed to see in a company news letter.

There are several good things about sharing. The more you talk the better you feel, in most cases. The more you share the more likely you are to find that friend that will support you all the way and even be a spokesperson of sorts. The more you share the more likely you are to find that person that has already been there done that and can share their experience. I am a fan of sharing. Be honest with yourself and know what you can handle. You need to know how thick your skin is if you have a knuckle head in your workplace.  You also have to be careful because it is easy to get caught up in the fertility journey and share too much or share too long.  You do not want your boss to see you in the hallway talking about your fertility more often than working your company excel sheets. 

I shared but I was lucky and work environments were different then. I am not so sure I would share now. I don’t say this because the people I work are any different but almost all work environments have changed dramatically over the past five years. I wish you the best, never say quit, and you are deserving of a child. Never forget that last part.

Give 100% at work