People all over the country are getting together to discuss ways to improve our health care system, and we want to make sure that the issues we care about most are a part of this dialogue.
This is a priority for us. And not just because it's our job. It's because deciding whether and when to become pregnant and have children is one of the most important decisions many of us will make in our lives. We think women, men, and families will do better if they have the opportunity to prevent pregnancy and plan families affordably, in consultation with the best medical professionals, and without barriers.
We've asked some of our friends to share some of the challenges they've faced seeking care, and we hope you'll share your stories by leaving comments on this blog post.
"I switched jobs and therefore my insurance plan changed. I went from paying $7 for a month's supply of birth control to more than 4 times as much for the exact same prescription."
"I was having trouble getting pregnant, and did some research on what might be causing my particular issues. I read about a hormone that might help, but my doctor at the time wasn't very familiar with it. He agreed to administer it, but wanted to test for it in my blood after a few weeks. This was impossible, because that particular hormone doesn't show up in your blood. I switched to an OBGYN who knew about the hormone and understood my issues, and shortly after receiving the treatment I was pregnant with my first daughter."
"I decided I wanted an IUD. I had been seeing an OBGYN at a hospital that doesn't do IUD's. I called four different doctors in the area, and no doctors do them. Finally I found a doctor a long way from my house who said she did them, so I made an appointment. I finally saw the woman and she gave me an exam then told me that she would not recommend an IUD -- because I hadn't had a baby, and because she had so little faith in her own ability to insert one properly. I was super excited that I'd taken off an afternoon to drive out to the middle of nowhere for that."
"When I changed pills based on advice from my doctor to try anther type, the new ones ended up costing me over $50/month (with insurance paying about $5). On other pills, I'd paid $10 -- $15 month, with insurance paying the balance."
"I had been having reproductive health issues for years, and when doctors ruled out endometriosis, fibroids, and cancer, we decided that a hysterectomy would be the best course of action. Since I am done having children, I agreed. After a few more weeks of tests, exams, and follow-up visits, I received a bill from my insurance company for almost $1,000 -- all this on top of my $20 co-pay I was dishing out for every office visit. When I called my doctor to straighten this out, it was explained to me that on top of a $750 deductible for my plan, I have to pay 20% of all the costs beyond that. The good news is that I had met my high deductible for the year. The bad news: my surgery is scheduled for next year."