Thursday, April 18, 2013

Insurance, Infertility, and Birth Control

I like reading commentary articles, blog posts and a bunch of stuff like that. It's always fun, even if somewhat aggravating, to read what others believe and how they feel about certain issues. Some I laugh at, because you can see they don't have any clearly thought out arguments for or against something. They just have a gut instinct. I can respect that, but I have to laugh when they try to turn gut instinct into logical argument. Others are thought provoking and make me question my own beliefs on the issue. Or maybe they reaffirm my desire to remain undecided on a certain issue.

Then there are those that I actually find hurtful. Like the recent April Fools joke that made me want to cry because it involved lying about being pregnant to freak another person out. Something which many couples in this great country, and around the world are struggling to do everyday. My hubs and I included. So I was hurt in the sense that it makes it seem like it's soooo easy for everyone to get pregnant, but then I was also hurt because it made it seem like the point was to be all "oh no! not another kid" when I truly believe that children are a blessing from the Lord, and should always be welcomed and a reason for excitement. Never "oh no!"

And what would these women do if their husbands were actually excited when they told them the "news"? How hurtful to them would that be?

This time it was no different. A friend of mine on facebook liked a photo from a group called "Chicks on the Right." I have never heard of this group before, and while I don't belong to either party any longer, I wanted to read what they had to say to see if I would potentially enjoy getting their updates. On their page was a link to their website, and THIS post, discussing a proposed CA law. The law would ensure that infertility be covered. This would be HUGE for couples like my husband and I who have to pay out of pocket for ANY testing that needs to be done just to continue finding out whether we are completely infertile, or just have a much lower than normal chance of conceiving. When I read about it, I thought, "hmm... maybe we should move to California..."

Now, the author of the post in question was raising a fuss over one particular part.

"Coverage for the treatment of infertility shall be offered and provided without discrimination on the basis of age, ancestry, color, disability, domestic partner status, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation."
Their focus was on the part where it says "domestic partner status, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information" and postulated that this meant that gay couples would receive infertility treatment. At first, the picture they painted was kind of funny I admit. Two guys go to a fertility clinic and complain about not being able to get pregnant... well... biologically you CANT get pregnant so, there's no infertility to treat. Why would they need infertility coverage?

Their argument makes some sense. Unless you know what it means to deal with infertility. And you remember that a gay couple can be two guys OR two girls. Maybe the two guys have been trying to use a surrogate, and are finding that they cant seem to get her pregnant. Testing for that SHOULD be covered because it is part of their basic health as men. And I'm sure prices vary around the country, but here in MI we had to pay completely out of pocket (just over a 100 bucks) just to TALK to the urologist and have him recommend what tests he thinks my husband should have done in order to see if there was even the possibility of something wrong on his end. Those doctor visits add up pretty quick. What if the two women are using healthy donated sperm and are unable to get pregnant? They could have serious health problems that could affect other areas of their lives.

In my case, and what I'm most familiar with, the problem is PCOS. Which has my sugar/insulin levels out of whack, which can lead to full blown diabetes. I also have too much testosterone (free androgens) and that causes a host of other problems. Often times, infertility can cause physical health problems. Not only that, but mental health problems as well.

So we have to deny these health coverage benefits to gay couples simply because they're gay?

Let's also not forget how much a law like this would help heterosexual couples unable to conceive as well. The focus should be HEALTH not another attack on the gay community.

And does anyone find it strange that we can get free birth control on the grounds of reproductive health, but then have to pay for this area of our reproductive health out of pocket?

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