another response…

This time from Sen. Roland Buris:

Dear Ms. Thornburgh:

Thank you for contacting me to discuss the inclusion of women’s reproductive services in health reform. I appreciate the benefit of your views.

I am, and have always been, a strong supporter of preventive healthcare and ending disparities. For this reason, I support health insurance reform that will help assure equal treatment for women by health insurers. Currently, private insurance companies often charge higher premiums for women because of their reproductive health needs. Reform will ban this practice and assure women better access to gynecology services.

Health insurance reform will also give each woman greater choice in what their insurance covers. For individuals who lose their job, or do not have insurance from their employer, reform will provide stability, by assuring access to affordable, quality insurance. Insurance consumers will have the power to choose a plan that fits with their needs and morals. A variety of choices would allow those that want infertility treatment coverage to receive it, while enabling those who do not to choose a different plan. Health insurance reform is all about greater choice, and I will fight for the right of every American to choose a quality insurance plan.

I will continue to listen closely to what you and other Illinoisans have to say about matters before Congress, the concerns of our communities, and the issues facing Illinois and the nation. My job is not about merely supporting or opposing legislation; it is also about bridging the divide that has paralyzed our nation’s politics.

Sincerely,

Roland W. Burris
United States Senator

Thanks Sen. Burris.  Too bad this won’t help me anytime in the near future.

Advertisements

politics…

Back in June RESOLVE had their Advocacy Day.  I did what I could to participate here in Chicago.  I blogged about it, I used Twitter and Facebook to bring awareness, and I also wrote to my Congressmen and Representatives.  Mostly I just got automated responses back from them, but at least I felt like I’d done something.

Well, to my surprise, I opened up my email today and had a response from Sen. Dick Durbin!  Here’s what he said:

September 24, 2009

Dear Ms. Thornburgh:

Thank you for contacting me regarding insurance coverage of infertility treatment. I appreciate hearing from you.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) introduced the Family Building Act of 2009. This bill would require a group health plan that provides coverage for obstetrical services to include coverage for non-experimental treatment of infertility. This bill also would provide coverage through the Federal Employees Health Benefit program as well as the Department of Defense.

The Family Building Act was referred to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. I will be sure to keep your concerns in mind in case this legislation comes to the Senate floor for a vote.

Thank you again for contacting me. Please feel free to keep in touch.

Sincerely,

Richard J. Durbin

United States Senator

Yay!  Not only did he respond, but he let me know about what is happening in Washington that could help us all!  I urge you all to email/call/write your Congresspersons to tell them what you think about this possible legislation!  Hopefully someday soon none of us will have to battle insurance companies and our own pocketbooks to have the families we are dreaming of.

  • Contact your Representative and ask them to co-sponsor HR 697, the Family Building Act of 2009.
  • Contact your Senators and ask them to co-sponsor S 1258, the Family Building Act of 2009.

Information on the HR 697 Family Building Act of 2009 found from this site:

Family Building Act of 2009 – Amends the Public Health Service Act and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) to require a group health plan that provides coverage for obstetrical services to include coverage for non-experimental treatment of infertility that is deemed appropriate by a participant or beneficiary and the treating physician. Requires coverage for assisted reproductive technology only if certain conditions are met. Prohibits a group health plan from taking specified actions to avoid the requirements of this Act. Applies such requirements to health insurance coverage offered in the individual market and coverage offered through Federal Employees Health Benefit (FEHB) plans.

Um, wow…

Some of you may remember that June 25th was RESOLVE‘s Advocacy Day in Washington DC.  I couldn’t be there myself, but I did all I could here.  I posted a blog, I put up twitter posts all day about it, and “donated” my facebook status.  I even wrote to all the senators and representatives that speak for me in DC as an Illinois resident.  I only heard back from 2 of them, but I felt good that I had done something here.

Well, I was looking at my blog stats today and it shows you where people who have read your blog come from and there was a weird link that I didn’t recognize so I click on it and it took me here.

I don’t really know much about “Blog Her” but I’ve been meaning to find out more about it, and now I’m in one of the articles!  If you scroll down to the bottom of the article this blog is mentioned and is quoted!!!  I can’t believe it…it’s pretty crazy that something I said would be quoted by anyone!  Let alone the Stirrup Queen herself!

I hope that what I said and what RESOLVE was able to do in DC will help us all to reach our goals with less stress and less worry about money.  It’s hard enough to go through all we do with infertility without the added stress and pain of having to pay for it all without the help of insurance.

on winning the lotto…

Yeah, that is a wishful thought.  I guess you have to play to win, but it’d be really nice right now if I could win the lottery.

Well, as the last IUI didn’t work my husband and I were trying to decide what to do next.  Insurance doesn’t cover anything and we’ve now cleaned out our savings account.  We were hoping we had a good 2 weeks or more to work something out.  We’re looking into possible grants, loans and other sources.  Unexpectedly however, AF decided to show up on Thursday!  Bah!  She never seems to want to cooperate.  When you want her, she’s never there.   When you don’t, there she is!!

So anyway, we had about enough for the baseline u/s and blood work appointment and one box of meds.  We decided to go ahead and do that, hoping that we would be able to figure something out to help cover the rest of the appointments that will be needed this month.

Had that appointment this morning.  I had talked with my nurse about our situation.  I told her if we can’t figure out some funds to cover the rest, we may have to cancel this cycle, but that we wanted to start it, just in case.  After the appointment we requested to talk with her and she came in with 5 boxes of donated meds.  Bless her!!!!  With the dosage that I usually get, she said it should get us through 10 days.  I would be SO HAPPY if all we had to worry about paying were the u/s and blood work appointments.  We’ve worked it out so that we’re being tested for the very minimal amount of things with each blood work, so we’re saving a bit there.

So, small blessings in the form of meds.  Now because we didn’t have to buy the 1st box ourselves we have enough for one more appointment.  Hopefully by then we will have worked something out to get us through this cycle.

Have I ever mentioned how frustrating all of this money crap can be?  Come on national healthcare coverage!!!  Save us all from this neverending loop of insurance company fights and empty savings accounts!!!

RESOLVE’s Advocacy Day, June 25

resolveLogo

advocacyDay

Hey all…I just found out about this today, RESOLVE’s Advocacy Day.  A group is going to Washington to fight for infertility coverage!  Click here to go to the main page for Advocacy Day.  Below I’ve cut and pasted a ton of stuff from their website.  You can go and read it there, but I thought I’d highlight some of it so you know what this is, and what you can do!

RESOLVE Advocacy Day: Why Me? Why Now?

Today we are in a unique moment in US history where the future of healthcare reform is being discussed in the halls of Congress. Together we need to make sure that the leaders of this discussion hear firsthand what those touched by infertility need in our healthcare system. There’s never been a time in RESOLVE’s 35 year history where we need you more than we do today. Grab your spouse, partner, best-friend or mom and join us June 25 in Washington D.C. 

On June 25, RESOLVE’s family building advocates will be in Washington DC in an effort to make family building more affordable.

There are ways you can help, today.

1. FORWARD THIS MESSAGE TO A FRIEND
Share this email with family and friends asking them to sign up to become an advocate and stay informed.

2. FACEBOOK
Change your status to: “Today I’m donating my status to RESOLVE’s Advocacy Day–leading the charge for greater access to affordable care for infertility patients.” (Don’t forget to become a Fan of RESOLVE)

3. BLOG
Let your readers know what is going on in Washington DC this week. More information here.

4. TWITTER
Tweet to all your followers: “June 25 is RESOLVE’s Advocacy Day, visit resolve.org for ways to get involved.”

5. DONATE
Make a generous tax-deductible online donation today to help support our ongoing initiatives to increase access to affordable care.

The infertility community needs to be on the minds of our elected officials this summer as the healthcare reform discussions continue. We can’t do it without you..take action, be generous… and stand up and be heard!

Here is a way you can do something in your area!!!

Federal Legislation

  • Contact your Representative and ask them to co-sponsor HR 697, the Family Building Act of 2009.
  • Contact your Senators and urge them to sponsor infertility coverage legislation in the Senate.

Info provided by RESOLVE on Insurance coverage…click the link! Some info about Insurance coverage from RESOLVE

There is also a form where you can submit YOUR story for the RESOLVE group to take to Washington with them!  Below I’ve posted what I wrote for them to take.  I feel like by doing this I can help make changes.  I hope you will all do the same!

“My husband and I have been trying to have a child for 2 years. After a year of trying with no success I was referred to an infertility clinic. Shortly after my first appointment we learned that my insurance does not cover infertility treatment, only diagnostic tests. After about 6 months I was diagnosed with PCOS. From that point on, it has been a struggle and everything I can do to keep going in our journey for a child. In January 2009 we finally conceived a child through IUI. It had taken us almost $5000 in drug costs (which were not covered) weekly blood tests and ultrasounds (also not covered) and the actual IUI procedure (not covered by insurance). We were so happy. It had been a long road and we were pretty much broke, but we were going to have our child. In March of 2009 I lost my child. My insurance did cover my emergency room costs, hospital stay and surgery (d&c). However, now we are trying again. We’ve put another $3000 into treatments and medications. This is our last hope. If we are not pregnant (we will find out on June 29th, though I am not hopeful that it worked) that is the end of our trying. We are out of money now. We’ve spent every penny of our savings on this cycle. My husband is starting school in the fall to become a pastor, and we will have no extra income. If this does not work, we may not get another chance for more than 3 years. We want a baby so badly. My baby will be wonderful, beautiful and an amazing child. I can almost see him, I just can not get to him. It is so frustrating that the only thing stopping my husband and I from achieving our dreams of being parents is money. Money should not be a factor in creating life. People are every day making babies without a second though, though for all of us who are infertile, we want nothing more than our babies. It consumes our every thought, our every dream, our every day. The fact that we are not allowed to be parents just because the cost of our treatments are so high is unconscionable. Please help us to reach our goals. Please help us to be able to meet our babies.”