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#1 of 7 Old 01-24-2009, 10:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I lost my job this week and I was planning on signing up for their Kaiser health insurance plan once enrollment was open in April, and starting to inseminate that month as well.

But now I have no job and it costs a crazy insane amount of money for me to be covered under DP's insurance plan, so we're looking into other options.

Does anyone know how Kaiser's health insurance plans work? I find the whole thing so confusing. I found a quote online that says I could be covered for $105 a month, and that includes OB/GYN visits. Is that real?

I've never heard of having insurance paid for on your own, I've always been covered by work! So I'm not sure if we should sign up for something like this.

I am so excited about starting our IUI's and begining our baby journey that I don't want to wait until I start a new job and get covered. Plus, once I am pregnant I will be quitting my job to be a stay at home mom, and I feel awful taking a new job and knowing I'm using them for their benefits! I just don't know what to do. We were planning on April and I still want that to be our month to start trying. It will be our 1 year wedding anniversary and it just seems symbolic and special!

So what are our choices?? And what about once the baby comes?! The sperm bank/clinic we are going to use doesn't require me to be covered with a health insurance plan, since we will be paying for the sperm and IUI's out of pocket. But obviously being insured once I am pregnant is a necessity, so I need some help figuring out how to get there!

Thanks in advance for any input/advice!
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#2 of 7 Old 01-24-2009, 11:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by hopefulmommy04 View Post
So what are our choices?? And what about once the baby comes?! The sperm bank/clinic we are going to use doesn't require me to be covered with a health insurance plan, since we will be paying for the sperm and IUI's out of pocket. But obviously being insured once I am pregnant is a necessity, so I need some help figuring out how to get there!

Thanks in advance for any input/advice!
Are do-it-yourself inseminations an option? That'd be pretty close to free and you wouldn't have the issue of starting a job then quitting. GL!

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#3 of 7 Old 01-24-2009, 11:56 PM
 
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Usually, once you are pregnant, you qualify for your state's free health care (I actually know very little about this, so I guess I should qualify this and say that this is how it works in MY state).

That said, we are using a homebirth midwife, and she doesn't take insurance. So we're paying for the prenatal visits and birth out-of-pocket ($3,000). But I really couldn't put a price on this level of care or a birth experience, so while we wish her services could be covered, we're not really complaining. Have you considered using a homebirth midwife?

Regardless, most OBs and midwives don't generally see patients before the end of the first trimester (if they do, there's not really much purpose to the visit other than to have you pee on their stick), so it's not like you'd need to be covered the day you got pregnant (and who knows how long getting pregnant could take . . . though hopefully it will be quite quick for you!).

If I were in your shoes, I'd go ahead with your ttc plans, insurance or no.

Lex

Mindfully mothering SIX kids (ages 4, 5, 7, 8, 11 & 11) in a small house with a lot of love.
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#4 of 7 Old 01-25-2009, 09:30 AM
 
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Originally Posted by lexbeach View Post
Usually, once you are pregnant, you qualify for your state's free health care (I actually know very little about this, so I guess I should qualify this and say that this is how it works in MY state).
This is true. I qualified for our state's program as soon as I got pregnant. Definitely something to look into.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lexbeach View Post
That said, we are using a homebirth midwife, and she doesn't take insurance. So we're paying for the prenatal visits and birth out-of-pocket ($3,000). But I really couldn't put a price on this level of care or a birth experience, so while we wish her services could be covered, we're not really complaining. Have you considered using a homebirth midwife?

Regardless, most OBs and midwives don't generally see patients before the end of the first trimester (if they do, there's not really much purpose to the visit other than to have you pee on their stick), so it's not like you'd need to be covered the day you got pregnant (and who knows how long getting pregnant could take . . . though hopefully it will be quite quick for you!).

If I were in your shoes, I'd go ahead with your ttc plans, insurance or no.

Lex
Just one word of caution about this. While I think that homebirth is a great option, and worth considering, it's important to understand that, depending on what state you live in, if you get pregnant while you don't have insurance, insurance companies do not necessarily have to pay for any of your pregnancy expenses even after you do sign up. In other words, if you get pregnant while not covered, some states will allow that pregnancy to be considered a pre-existing condition, and don't need to pay for any expenses surrounding it.

Now, if you are having a homebirth, this probably isn't an issue- unless something goes wrong and you end up needing to transfer to hospital care. I don't mean to be alarmist about this. Most people who want a homebirth have one, and it's just fine. But you certainly don't want to end up in the hospital with pre-eclampsia and a c-section... and a $30,000 bill.

So, I guess my first advice would be to see if you will qualify for your state's children's health insurance program once you get pregnant. If so, then you'll be all set, and can have that as a back-up, even if you do have a homebirth. If not, I would consider purchasing some sort of insurance (at least catastrophic care), so that you're not in a situation in which your potential medical bills can't be met.

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#5 of 7 Old 01-25-2009, 03:01 PM
 
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I wouldn't worry about "using" a company for their health coverage. That's like being worried about "using" a company for the paycheck, which people do all the time. There are quite a few people out there who are employed simply so they can have health coverage. I'd say, as long as you are willing and able to do the job you are hired for, there's no reason to feel guilt.

You said you were planning on quitting once you were pregnant to be a SAHM. Were you planning on quitting once the baby was born (or shortly before) or earlier in you pregnancy? If you planned on working until shortly before the baby, I'd say go ahead and work for the health insurance. That's probably a good six months at least. Probably not the time to think of advancing your career, but fine for something not terribly commitment heavy. Some temp agencies have insurance for their folks, and that would be a good way of not worrying about making a commitment you can't fulfill. Not only will you know that your pregnancy is covered, but should something happen to you (illness, injury, etc.) you don't have to worry about those medical bills getting in the way of your TTC budget. Plus you will have additional income, which never hurts.

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#6 of 7 Old 01-25-2009, 06:39 PM
 
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I would definitely second the advice to ask about pre-existing condition clauses with pregnancy. There may be an exclusionary period, where any condition that comes up within, say, 6 months of starting coverage won't be paid for. I find that crazy, but whatever

Would you be available to get COBRA through your old job? It's usually really expensive, but it's an option. Also, you can usually et it "retro-actively" for a certain period...(3 months?) so that you don't pay the premiums, but if say you had an emergency and needed coverage two months down the road, you could "opt in" at that point.

If you are looking into private insurance, you can get rates and plan info here:

www.ehealthinsurance.com

I am in the same boat sorta...I got Kaiser about a year ago to cover me for two months between when I left one job and the benefits at another job kicked in. Well, I quit the second job and have been self-employed since, so I kept it, but it sucks. We are going to start TTC in May and I have been madly researching and here's what I'm doing:

- We are going to do a home birth with a mid wife. This will be paid out of pocket probably because "officially" no health companies in Oregon cover home births. That said, lot sof home births in Oregon HAVE been convered by insurance, so we will submit and cross our fingers and if we do get reimbursed, GREAT.

- I found a high-deductible plan that's $121 a month for me, with a $1500 deductible (I think). It's eligible for a Health Savings Account, so we will basically put the midwife money in the HSA (the money isn't taxed if used for medical exp).

This way I have insurance if I have to transport to the hospital, and I can at least not pay taxes on the money for the midwife.

Sorry for the novel!

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#7 of 7 Old 01-26-2009, 03:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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These are all great ideas to think about! Thanks! Last night DP said "why are we waiting until April again? Let's start next month or March!" Which makes perfect sense, but I assumed she wasn't ready to move that quickly!

I would love to do a homebirth, but we live in a tiny apartment and I can't see that working in our space. I'm looking into birthing centers, and my absolute ideal situation would be a water birth, but I can't seem to find anywhere around here that offers that.

Today is the first day I'll ever pee on a stick, granted it's just a OPK stick but still it's a new experience for me! I've been charting my cycles since October, so yes, I guess we are ready! It's all very excting!

Up next, narrowing down our donor choices.
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