Q: I know you say don’t spend too much time with your gynecologist and get yourself to an infertility doctor sooner rather than later. I think that’s good advice for us since we’re in our late 30s and have been trying to get pregnant for almost a year. I have an appointment next month with my gynecologist. I don’t have medical insurance coverage for infertility. Does it make sense to get the initial testing with my gynecologist and then take that to the fertility clinic? Or will they make me re-do the tests. I think my gynecologist will work with me on how to code the testing so that I stand a better chance of getting it covered.
A: Evelina Weidman Sterling, a public health educator and researcher specializing in reproductive and women’s health issues, says: “Great question! Yes…if you have a great relationship with your gynecologist who understands your situation, it is good idea to work with her to get some of the initial testing done. You are correct that given fertility problems are so complex and affect much more than baby-making, that often your gynecologist can code it so it doesn’t look like you are being tested solely for infertility, which may help them to be covered under your insurance. Make sure you keep great notes and records (in addition to your “official” medical records kept by your Gyn) as to what has been done, what were the results, and what does this mean.
Some fertility clinics may want to repeat the tests so be prepared to make a case why you don’t need to be re-tested. “We just like to do these tests ourselves to be sure” is not a valid reason. To minimize your chances for re-testing, make sure your tests are less than a year old. Use a reputable lab. Make sure that all tests were completed during the correct time of your cycle and are not inconclusive. Also, make sure you understand what is being tested and why, as well as how this will influence any overall treatment recommendations. I’ve known a few women who got so caught up in testing that they racked up $20,000 in testing costs before IVF was even recommended.”
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I am in the same situation. My insurance doesn’t cover visits for infertility. My husband and I are only 21, so we still have some time, but we’ve already been trying for over a year. I’ll make the visit to my gynecologist before we try anything else. Thank you for this helpful advice!