Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Inching out of the closet

I am awful about keeping this blog updated, especially when nothing is going on on the fertility front. So by way of update, I am currently taking BCPs and will continue taking them until the end of the month. I return to Ginormous for a baseline ultrasound and bloodwork on the first of June. At that time, we will, hopefully, be given the go ahead to begin stimming on June 4th for IVF cycle #2. Fingers crossed . . .

On a separate but related note, the topic of infertility hit me where I work today. I work in a small U.S. office of a multi-national company. There are seven people in my office and about 70 or so shattered throughout the U.S. Our current U.S. support/administrative/legal staff consists of 3 people; so our little team wears many different hats. I, for example, manage legal matters, along with some HR and immigration tasks. Our finance manager, Bill, handles payroll, benefits, orientation, etc. You get the idea. So I was sitting in my office earlier today and I overheared Bill (great guy with a 5 year old son and a second child due in September), who sits two doors down, telling an employee, who has called with a few questions, that our company does not cover fertility treatment. Um, buddy, that would be the wrong answer.

So I sat at my desk for a few minutes knowing that I must correct Bill but not wanting to expose myself as the infertile that I am. I honestly felt a strong obligation to provide this employee with the correct information, particularly on this very difficult issue with which I am intimately familiar; but on the other hand, I felt the need to preserve my privacy. You see, I am not one of those people, who grapples with the decision whether to share my infertility treatments with a few select colleagues (not that it isn't appropriate in most cases, given the appointments, days off required, etc.) It’s just not something I am willing to share. Some family and friends know what we are going through and I rely very heavily on David and one really good friend (and of course, you all) to keep me going when the rollercoaster gets me down but otherwise, I have no desire to share. What to do . . .

Like any good infertile (and busybody), I wandered to Bill’s office and pried into his conversation. This wasn't unusual since Bill and I spend, at least, a few minutes a day complaining about some negative experience we’ve had here at the office. He confirmed that a male employee has called asking about fertility coverage and he has told said employee that our company's health insurance plan doesn’t cover these treatments. He said, after a child has been conceived prenatal is, of course, covered but not extraordinary intervention for infertility. Hmmpph! Bill has dropped a few notches in my eyes for having the audacity to assume that prenatal care would be covered but not infertility! I get that he has not had the misfortune of experiencing infertility, so he has no way of knowing firsthand but he could have, at least, called our benefits' provider to confirm! I promptly corrected Bill, telling him that not only is infertility covered but coverage is mandatory here in our State and no, it doesn’t matter that the employee doesn’t work in this State, since the company’s U.S. offices are based here, coverage is mandatory for all employees nationwide. My heart sped up, as I spoke, but Bill now stands corrected.

He then went on to tell me that the guy (and his wife) aren’t being treated for infertility but have been trying, unsuccessfully, for sometime and that she will be getting “some test to see if there is a blockage somewhere.” The employee also wanted to know if this test was covered. Bill advised him that he didn’t know but that the doctor’s office should submit the appropriate paperwork to the insurance company and the insurance company would either pay or reject the claim. I knew the answer to this one too; of course diagnostic testing like the HSG is covered, but I didn't feel comfortable displaying too much knowledge of this particular topic and I felt fairly comfortable with the answer he has given the employee, so I feigned ignorance and we joked about his inability to know whether every single possible malady is covered by our health insurance.

I feel like I could have done or said a lot more. I could have contacted the employee directly (I guess I still can). I could have informed Bill that diagnostics are covered or advised him that if he isn't sure of an answer, he should suggest that employees contact our benefits' provider themselves, that company has been very helpful. Instead, I took the coward's way out, anonymity intact, for now . . .

17 Comments:

At 4:43 PM, Blogger Nico said...

I'm really surprised that if he didn't know the answer to the question (as he obviously didn't), he wouldn't just say so, and tell the guy to call the health plan directly.

Good for you for setting him straight though! Hopefully he won't be causing anyone else anxiety on that front.

 
At 5:58 PM, Blogger MoMo said...

I agree with Nico..I think he should have told the guy to call the health plan to get accurate answers.

I am glad to hear that you are getting ready to start IVF#2. I am praying for you!

 
At 7:37 PM, Blogger Donna said...

If you feel like taking that extra step I would contact the employee directly, but your co-worker doesn't need to know why you have so much knowledge on this front, he just needs to be better informed when speaking to employees. Nothing wrong with setting him straight and maintaining your anonymity. Just my two cents' worth.

 
At 11:52 PM, Blogger Mel said...

I think you did the right thing. You informed your co-worker and were able to keep your anonymity.

I wish you all the best with the next cycle.

 
At 1:09 AM, Blogger sube said...

I don't think that was the coward's way out at all. You have every right to protect your annonymity. I think you handled it rather gracefully.

June 1st -- not too far away!

 
At 4:41 AM, Blogger Pamplemousse said...

I understand completely your wish to preserve your IF privacy but you did the right thing anyway, by correcting your boss and not blowing your cover. For all he knows, you already checked it out for some other employees.

Good news on the cycling front! It will be here before you know it.

 
At 8:11 AM, Anonymous Lori said...

I don't think you took the coward's way out at all. Everyone does what is right for them. I used to work in benefits and it made me crazy when others would give out information without confirming its accuracy. It was one of my pet peeves.
In the meantime, I will be hoping for the best for your upcoming IVF cycle!!

 
At 11:52 AM, Blogger Mellie said...

It's a hard position you found yourself in. Don't feel like a coward - you're doing what you need to to protect yourself.

 
At 12:40 PM, Anonymous kze said...

You definately did the right thing by correcting him! Hopefully he learned he is better off re-directing the question than giving information which he is unsure about.

Good luck on your upcoming cycle! My first IVF cycle just ended last week with a BFN. Heading into a FET cycle in June.

 
At 4:45 PM, Blogger Lut C. said...

You handled that well, I'd say. Protected your privacy AND corrected false information.

I'm planning to 'recruit' two of my colleagues for my support circle, even though I'm a bit nervous about it.

 
At 9:37 PM, Blogger ak1908 said...

Way to go Chee Chee!!! That darn know-it-all! He should have just referred the guy to someone who did know. I hope this cycle is the one for you. I'm so sorry that I didn't reply to your email. I just had such a hard time having anything positive to say. Please accept my apology. I'm keeping tabs on your blog for updates on how you're doing. Hang in there!!!

 
At 2:24 PM, Blogger Thalia said...

I think you did fine - right balance between outing yourself and making sure your colleague got what he needed. Let's hope Bill has got a clue.

 
At 10:23 AM, Anonymous Jill said...

I think it was very kind of you to go out on a limb a bit to set Bill straight and thus to help your colleague. It's wonderful that infertility coverage is mandatory in your state.

 
At 5:55 PM, Blogger Sue said...

I would consider you courageous, not cowardly at all!! Talking about personal stuff at work - especially stuff as personal as infertility - is tricky. How much do you tell (like for appts, time-off, etc. like you said), and how much to you preserve your privacy? I think you handled yourself very well. BTW, I understand your co-worker's ignorance on the subject, but it's just another example of how frustrating it can be to deal with people who don't have a CLUE!

 
At 1:23 PM, Blogger Avonlea said...

It's difficult balancing privacy and wanting to help someone else. It sounds like approaching this guy about his misinformation was hard, you should be proud of yourself for doing it. I'm sure the employee will do more investigating on his own - you know how IF'ers are... nothing if not determined.

 
At 9:07 PM, Blogger k #2 said...

Augh...I have never come out of the closet at work even when I think I should to try to fight for the medical rights/coverage for others. It sucks to have so much knowledge, but want to keep it so private!

 
At 5:16 AM, Blogger sue said...

債務協商,應收帳款,詐欺,離婚,監護權,法律諮詢,法律常識,離婚諮詢,錄音,找人,追蹤器,GPS,徵信,徵信公司,尋人,抓姦,外遇,徵信,徵信社,徵信公司,尋人,抓姦,外遇,徵信,徵信社,徵信公司,尋人,抓姦,外遇,徵信,徵信社,徵信公司,尋人,抓姦,外遇,徵信,徵信社,徵信社,尋人,偵探,偵探社,徵才,私家偵探,徵信,徵信社,徵信公司,抓猴,出軌,背叛,婚姻,劈腿,感情,第三者,婚外情,一夜情,小老婆,外遇,商標,市場調查,公平交易法,抓姦,債務,債務協商,應收帳款,詐欺,離婚,監護權,法律諮詢,法律常識,離婚諮詢,錄音,找人,追蹤器,GPS,徵信,徵信公司,尋人,抓姦,外遇,徵信,徵信社,徵信公司,尋人,抓姦,外遇,徵信,徵信社

 

Post a Comment

<< Home