Episode 130: Fighting for Fertility Coverage: Advocating from Within
Two years ago, we shared the story of Chrissy Hogie’s long fertility journey which included IVF, pregnancy loss, and all the ups and downs she went through in the process. If you haven’t listened yet, here is Episode 77: Heart Shaped Uterus, Low Sperm, and a Successful Pregnancy.
Like many who are on this journey, Chrissy was inspired to change the way people accessed care for fertility treatments. She realized that she could be the one to “push” and work with her employer to add comprehensive fertility and family building coverage. In this episode, Chrissy discusses how she was able to support her HR and benefits team to find a fertility benefit solution that addressed all the needs of a fertility patient and was inclusive of the entire workforce.
Guest: Chrissy Hogie, Infertility Advocate
Host: Dan Bulger
For more information, visit Progyny’s Podcast page and Progyny’s Education page for more resources.
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Here are some highlights from this episode:
Finding an Ally in Leadership
05:11 – 06:16
Chrissy Hogie: I was very knowledgeable. I was a subject matter expert based on my current journey and I leveraged the women’s network to get to meet the right people in HR. I was fortunate to meet this woman named Sammy who had just started her career and was always in the healthcare realm, but she was often a consultant in other companies. She was handpicked by our benefits team and Sammy was an incredible ally because she knew about fertility from being a consultant in her previous jobs. Couples getting married at 27, not 20 like it was back in the day. There are more career minded women in the workforce that are getting married and starting to have kids later in life. Ultimately, you generally struggle with fertility one way or another as you get older and for this reason, she was a huge ally to get where we needed to be.
Introduction to Progyny
09:13 – 10:53
Chrissy Hogie: At this point in my journey, I had gone through two cycles of IVF, a miscarriage and an unsuccessful transfer. This is when Ann Gaines from Progyny talked about having a premier network of endocrinologists and they talked about the advantage of only implanting one embryo and having a healthy singleton pregnancy versus the complications that arise when you have multiple. They also talked about what PGT-A was and the genetic testing of the embryos that are five days to ensure that they’re chromosomally normal and to increase your chances of being successful. After having two failed pregnancies or attempts, knowing that you didn’t have to nickel and dime your way through this, and seeing the Smart Cycle approach where everything you would ever need was covered, took away the scariness of having to decide what you should do. The access to the Patient Care Advocate was incredible. During the presentation, I literally was drooling, and Ann doesn’t know this, but I wish I kissed her feet at the end of the presentation. It’s because everything that they spoke about was hitting on all cylinders for someone who had gone through the journey without any support.
Falling in Love with Progyny
16:37 – 18:00
Chrissy Hogie: I am so thrilled, honored, happy and excited to have the Progyny benefit in place. Progyny has everything that a couple struggling with infertility needs to be successful, and re-assuring that they won’t be alone. They’ll have a Patient Care Advocate along their side every step of the way, knowing that they don’t have to sell their house, sell their car, or withdraw money out of their 401k to be able to afford treatments for IVF. It’s the most amazing gift I could ever give any couple struggling with infertility. All of that is delivered through Progyny’s network. I am excited that I was a change maker and that my journey could benefit so many others. We were able to partner with HR and Progyny to make this benefit come to life. I know that there’s so many employees who are waiting or waited for this benefit to exist before they could start their journey so that they didn’t go into debt. They have the emotional and the financial support now. I’m so thankful to have my name associated with that opportunity to give back.
Dan has been in the healthcare industry for the last six years as a multimedia content producer. Better known as ‘Video Dan’ he as interviewed numerous doctors, patients and other experts in the world of fertility. He’s also the producer for this podcast, This is Infertility. On a personal note Dan’s parents started fostering kids when he was four years old, and he considers himself a proud older brother to over 100 foster children.
Chrissy is a Senior Product Marketing Manager at Whirlpool who is responsible for launching new cooking products in the marketplace. She is located in St. Joseph, MI and has worked at the headquarters for the past 12 years. Chrissy enjoys traveling internationally, making a difference, and spending time on long family walks with her husband and two black labs.
Since embarking on her three-year fertility journey, she has gained a passion for educating others and mentoring those who are also on a journey. Chrissy is on a mission to make fertility affordable and not taboo. Fertility is hard enough and no one needs to feel like they are alone.
Chrissy is a graduate of Penn State University with a supply chain degree and received her MBA at Michigan State University in 2017. She grew up in King of Prussia, PA and currently resides in St. Joseph, MI with her husband and two fur babies and a miracle bundle of joy!
Music From This Episode:
Artist: Alpha Hydrae
Track: Keratine rust and a clear soul
Artist: Andy G Cohen
Track: Oxygen Mask
Track: Talk to Me