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IVF: In Vitro Financing or Folly?

a blog by Lori Shandle-Fox, March 13, 2012

People going through infertility are forever looking for creative ways to pay for their fertility treatments. Besides any grants or scholarships that are out there, many fertility doctors are starting to pal around with companies that will loan you money for your treatments.

So how does this work exactly? If you get pregnant and don't pay off the loan, the bank gets the child every Christmas and Spring break for the rest of their lives? ("Hey! We told you to stop annoying the tellers. And put back all those lollipops! You're not a customer, you're family!")

Or if you don't get pregnant, do they refund all the money you've sunk into them month after month with interest? No, that doesn't sound right to me either.

I don't fault anybody for whatever way they decide to raise money for their fertility treatments. (I myself considered becoming a prostitute but then figured with my luck, I'd finally get pregnant and not know who the father was. I mean I was already in my 40s when I was trying to conceive and looked "normal" 40s not "Demi Moore" 40s. I was encouraged, though, when I watched Cops and saw what passes for a prostitute these days.) Anyhoo...

I'm just personally squeamish about loans and those who loan. I think I would always have this sinking feeling that they're not just giving me money because my sad infertility tale has touched their hearts. And then there was the dentist...

I was just talking over there on my personal blog about my one and only foray into the romantic marriage between medicine and loan sharks/companies.

I went into this dentist's office with an appointment for a cleaning and left with a laundry list of work that needed to be done or my whole mouth would, I don't know, explode ... have to be amputated ... something awful I'm sure.

So after perusing the laundry list of vital treatments that I must have performed, the dentist was put on my "might be a scum bucket" list. After he got us hooked up with this credit/loan shark company I fairly or unfairly removed the "might" from his title.

I figured that maybe the old adage was true: "Scum buckets of a feather, flock together."

I'm definitely not saying that the fertility clinics handing out brochures for loans are all up to no good and don't do it with the best of intentions ...

I admit though, whether intended or not, it does make me a wee bit uncomfortable when you're going to someone for a very pricey service and they hand you paperwork entitled: "Pay me NOW! Read HOW!"

It's true, there's no way to win with me. I'm never satisfied. I complain when doctors won't find a way to make treatments more affordable to the less fortunate among us. Then when they come up with (let's not call it a "solution." No, "solution" feels like too strong a word) an "alternative" to blindly signing blank checks and dropping them into the clinic's little wooden suggestion box with the little lock on it, I'm suspicious.

I just know that I affectionately refer to the payment plan I chose with the dentist as: "The Trap." No rush to pay off the bill. Of course there will be a little interest accruing each month. No big deal. I had a filling done in October 2010. So far it's only cost me $7,000.

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