Step 1: Find the infertility clinics in your area. How do you do that? The easiest way is to go to the following link: http://www.fertilitylifelines.com/
Scroll down to where it says “Find a fertility specialist” in the bottom right corner of the page. Enter your zip code and you will find the closest clinics to you.
Step 2: Learn what your infertility benefits are before you see an infertility doctor. You can do this a few ways:
1. Contact your insurance company
2. Call this number: 1-866-LETS-TRY (1-866-538-7879) and they will do a benefits check for you. They have insurance advocates that will take down your insurance information and will call your insurance on your behalf. It’s confidential and free.
3. Most fertility drug pharmacies will also provide this service. So you can contact them to do the work for you as well.
I recommend verifying any information you get from any of the sources above. Do 2 benefit checks, one through the free service and one on your own by calling your insurance company. What I’ve found is that your insurance company can tell you one thing when you call but a benefits check from an outside source can tell you something else in a way that will help you get the most for your infertility dollar. Now that you know what your benefits are you can then call all the clinics in your area and set up appointments. If you do not have any diagnostic coverage (which means your insurance will not pay for you to talk to an infertility doc about what’s been going on with you) you should ask for a free in-person consultation. If the clinic won’t do it for free, ask for a discount or ask for a free phone consult. You are looking to meet all the clinics in the area before you commit to one particular clinic or doctor. Most clinics will provide a free in-person consult for a short period of time, 15 minutes or a free phone consult.
Let’s say your insurance will cover you to only go to one clinic. I still recommend doing your homework and visiting all the clinics. The doctor at the clinic who is not contracted with your insurance may be able to maximize your insurance benefits even though he/she is not directly contracted with your insurance. For example, let’s say you have $5000 toward medications only. You can go to any doctor regardless of whether the doctor is contracted with your plan and still receive this benefit. Every insurance plan is different so learn the particulars of your individual plan because I am making a generalization and there are situations where this is not true.
At this point, you should have a list of the clinics in your area as well as knowledge of your insurance coverage. It’s now time to make appointments.
An infertility doctor is also known as a Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility specialist. This is a doctor who completed training in the field of Obstetrics and Gynecology and also completed an additional training program studying the field of infertility and other common problems associated with infertility and female hormones. An ObGyn who did not complete extra training in reproductive endocrinology and infertility can also be considered an infertility specialist but they are not trained in the area of Assisted Reproductive Technology. What this means is that your Obgyn can prescribe low-tech therapies to help you get pregnant but most ObGyns have not gone through the training needed to do IVF treatments.
Look for the following things when looking for a doctor:
1. Is the lab CLIA certified?
2. Is the lab CAP certified?
3. What other credentials does the clinic have that make it a top-notch facility?
4. Did you feel like the doctor was a good listener?
The list above is just a very short list that will help you find a clinic that is right for you and that provides the highest quality care.
I hope that by taking these three steps, you will find a doctor and clinic that is right for you.