The past few days have been frustrating to say the least, I'm not sure where to start so what better place then the beginning.
If you have ever met Anne or myself you know that we are planners and researchers. We do the most homework we can when it comes to any task, you shouldn't be surprised to find we have an actual "Tiny human making manual". When we met with our lawyer Suzanne she told us we were one of the most prepared couples she has ever met. You get the idea here.
We had our first of 3 appointments with The Fertility Center of San Antonio on June 26,2017. We came prepared with a stack of questions that we had answered in our 2-3 hour appointment. You see, we HAVE to use a fertility center to create this time human. The old "turkey baster" method leaves the door open for Finn or any donor to come back and fight for rights even after they have already been signed away. Anyway, after my head nearly exploded from all the info at the end of our first visit we were told our insurance would actually be helping with 6 treatments and were given a price break down after deductibles and all that fun stuff. We also learned that the clinic would accept Finn's records from his personal Dr that had his swimmer analysis and blood testing.
We left this appointment with a plan, come back on day 3 of Anne's cycle for day three labs and genetic testing. Call to schedule the HSG on day 5. At the time we left our first appointment the only thing we had decided on was freezing Finn's swimmers or asking him to come in for each try.
Day 3 comes and we head into our second visit at the center to have labs drawn. Anne sits down and has one small vial of blood drawn, " Are you sure that's all you need" Anne says "We are also doing Good Start genetic testing". "Yes" the nurse answers. After we head back into a counselingroom to go over pricing once more. At this time we are told that we were given incorrect information on our first appointment, the office would not be accepting Finn's prior blood test and swimmer tests done by his physician. This came as a shock to us, last week we were in the same room being told the prior records were still within the 6 month period and would be accepted. We were given some excuse the nurse was new or something I don't even remember at this point. We have decided by this visit asking Finn to interrupt his life month after month was just too much, even though he probably would. We spend about an hour going over all the things that are needed to freeze his swimmers. . 1. Finn has to register with the state as a tissue donor ($400) 2. He would need blood work ($870) and a physical before he donates.($125) 3. Freeze Swimmers ($574). We leave this visit handing the nurse Finn's email so she can send him the state tissue regeneration. Payments for all of these steps were due upon the deposit visit.
After accepting that this is what we had to do we were about to leave the center when the nurse grabbed Anne and told us they didn't take the necessary blood needed for the genetic testing and she had to be poked again. I remember telling the nurse she was lucky she caught us before we left because it wouldn’t have been good if we did.
Fast forward to days 5-7 and we go for Anne's HSG test where she is told she had only one viable tube. After we left the radiology center I proactively called the Dr. to set up our third appointment. In this appointment we learn that having just one tube means that we can only try every other month so we decided to try the next cycle. For the THIRD time we had a nurse and the business office run down what we still needed to do and how much everything was going to cost us.
If you have made it this point in the blog thanks for sticking with me!
Now here we are ready to make this baby!
I called two weeks ago to set up Finn's appointment. I learned that there is only one human at this office who schedules these appoints and she just happened to take a 4 day weekend when I was trying to schedule. (Not her fault, everyone needs vacations). On Tuesday of last week she finally calls me back. I expressed to her we were on a timeline and she told me we were fine as long as his state registration was completed. Oh man I thought, I wonder if he got that email from weeks ago. I called and asked and guess what he hadn't got the email so back to the phones I went. I called the doctors office every single day last week, two times a day! At this point I should tell you, I am usually the first person in line to get things done, if I can't get it done then I call in my big guns, Anne.
Anne finally gets a hold of a person at the office just to find that no one has sent the email because we haven't paid the $400. We had been in the office almost once a week and spoken to many people and not one of them mentioned that we had to pay before the email went out. We tell the office manager about all the miscommunication we have had up to this point and how we are losing faith in this clinic. The office manager apologizes and let's us know the last thing we need to do before we give this a try is to register with the infertility program with our insurance company. Again, after all the visits we have had and all the phone calls no one ever told us we needed to do complete this.
I spent my Friday morning talking to the insurance company to register for this program and gather all the info they need from the doctors office. I call the office manager back, we are only supposed to be talking to the office manager at this point to avoid misunderstandings. I tell her all the things the insurance company needs and she tells me she's faxing it right away.
Not even 15 minuets later she calls me back to tell me the insurance company is denying our enrollment into the program and we would have to pay out of pocket for each try. She goes on to say that this is because the insurance company doesn't think one blocked tube means infertility even though the center does. At this point she gets who are, she knows I will have questions so she gives me the contact info of who she spoke to at the insurance company.
I go back to researching, I find the big bible of book from the insurance company and I look up what they have to say about infertility coverage. I find that its up to the doctors determination not the insurance. Armed with information I can the insurance company and tell them the exact paragraph and article that states my point. The lady on the other line was great and patient with me. She told me that while that was true our doctor did not consider us infertile. She stated the office manager told her " This is a same sex couple trying to get insurance to pay for treatment".
At this point I'm furious, I apologize to the women and tell her that of the center would have just explained this to me I wouldn't be on the phone with her. Clearly I understand that insurance won't pay if we don't meet the guidelines but it's the center who said we were covered. It's the center who gave us paper after paper with pricing none of which mentioned insurance approval.
My voice starts to break and I hold it together just long enough to say bye and hang up. After I'm off the phone I break down and cry. It has been misstep after misstep with this clinic, why is it so hard for us to get the right answer. I didn't call the office manager back that day as I had nothing nice to say to her. I immediately started to look for a new doctor because I wasn't giving this clinic another dime of my money.
Today is Monday and I spoke to a new clinic who tells me that Finn's swimmers have to be quarantined for 6 months before we can start trying! Back to researching just to find this is not an FDA requirement.
We have put so much time, money and emotion into this and now we have to start all over again. While it's for the better it's still hard not to be frustrated. We have both been stressed for weeks trying to make sure we have our ducks in a row only to have this center let us down when we were so close. I don't think there is a way for me to adequately express the emotional toll this has taken on us.
Had this center given us proper expectations from the start we wouldn't be here today but you live and you learn. The Fertility Center of San Antonio has now been removed from our resource page since we can't with a sound mind recommend them to anyone.
Thanks for listening to me rant and hold on for more baby news, we are just slightly behind schedule, but we won't stop until we have our family.
May the force be with you,