Question about insurance and male fertility
May 20, 2009 10:31 AM   Subscribe

Me and my wife have been trying to get pregnant for over a year with no success. She has had tests and found out she might have trouble getting pregnant. She wants me to get my sperm tested for fertility, as well. The problem is that she has insurance, but I do not. What are my options for testing, and how much are they likely to cost? If we both go to a fertility doctor, is it possible that her insurance will cover getting me tested?
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Your insurance will have to pay for your test, but it's not expensive. My test was under $100, if I remember correctly, and it wasn't covered by insurance other than a $10 reduction for being in my PPO network.
posted by mkb at 10:32 AM on May 20, 2009

I should add that I went to the women's health center to which she was referred by her gynecologist. The test didn't require an appointment, although the andrology lab had a line. You may wish to prepare the specimen at home so you don't have to wait for the previous dude to finish.
posted by mkb at 10:35 AM on May 20, 2009

My test last year cost $264. Covered by insurance but went against the deductable.
posted by bitterpants at 11:06 AM on May 20, 2009

A friend of mine paid $120 b/c he got the referral through his wife's doctor instead of his own, so his insurance company wouldn't pay for it. I wouldn't count on your wife's insurance ever paying for it, though. And compared to the amount of money you will eventually spend on a pregnancy, delivery, and raising a child, it's a drop in the financial bucket. Obviously, it's a good idea for you to get tested to ensure that your boys are swimming -- future fertility treatments you and your wife undergo will rely on them, so don't skip getting tested (any good OB or fertility doctor would require you to do it, anyways).

As for giving the sample -- some places have you do it on site, others might have you prepare the sample beforehand and give you an hour to drive it to the lab in a sealed container. Either way, there's little dignity in the whole situation so prepare yourself mentally for it ;) Best of luck.
posted by puritycontrol at 11:08 AM on May 20, 2009

You don't have insurance, but your wife does. Why don't you get added to her insurance? If you are not on her insurance plan, her plan will not cover you, even if you go to the doctor together.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 11:16 AM on May 20, 2009

If I may veer slightly to the left of topic for a moment...

Let's say you decide that paying the $100-$250 (based on previous replies) is worth it, and you go, and you find out your boys AREN'T swimming. There are a number of reasons why this may be happening, and so then you have to see a doctor. Now let's say it happens to be something that requires medical intervention...

NOW you have been diagnosed with a previous condition, which you will have a bugger of a time getting any insurance you may get in the future.

Since you are just checking to see if you do or don't have infertility, and you have no reason to think you do because she is already partially infertile, I'd suggest skipping this test (or any test at all) until you get insured so that you don't have a preexisting condition on your medical records that you may never be able to get covered.
posted by arniec at 11:17 AM on May 20, 2009

A male friend of mine went to Planned Parenthood to confirm that his vasectomy was successful. I would give them a call and ask if they perform fertility tests, or if they have other suggestions.
posted by rhapsodie at 12:12 PM on May 20, 2009

arniec has a good point. Diagnosing a potentially expensive medical condition before getting insurance is a bad idea. Since you can probably survive to the next open enrollment period sans baby, why not just wait till then? You'll have to pay for insurance for a year, OTOH medical insurance is a good thing to have.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 1:04 PM on May 20, 2009

an OTC male fertility test? Seriously? No Dr would consider that valid proof of male fertility.

Speaking from personal experience, having a partner's sperm checked is a simple test doctors request to rule out male infertility before launching into an additional battery of expensive, invasive, painful tests done on the woman! And after that, if she fails her tests, loads and loads of expensive medications and more expensive procedures.

Giving sperm, while embarrassing, is a quick and painless way to rule out 50% of the possible fertility problems for any couple. And, assuming you pass, you get the piece of mind of knowing your boys can swim - all millions and millions of them.

I'd give some thought to the pre-existing condition issue. A quick call to a few major insurance companies would tell you if low-sperm/low-motility/etc are considered pre-existing conditions.
posted by Mrs_Eep at 9:52 PM on May 20, 2009

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