Skip Navigation

Patient Center Financing Your Treatment

Will my insurance company pay for services at the UCSF Fetal Treatment Center?

Every insurance company has different rules. We have been successful in obtaining insurance authorization for services provided. Many times insurance companies, such as HMO plans, require a referral from your primary care provider. Our office staff will work with you through this process.

Are there other options for financial assistance?

The UCSF Fetal Treatment Center cannot offer financial assistance, however you may be eligible for governmental assistance depending on the insurance programs offered in your state of residence.

We cannot guarantee that you will be eligible for support by any of these programs

California Residents

California Children's Services This program is open to anyone who:

  • is under 21 years old;
  • has or may have a medical condition that is covered by CCS;
  • is a resident of California;
  • and has a family income of $40,000 or less as reported as the adjusted gross income on the state tax form;
  • or the out-of-pocket medical expenses for a child who qualifies are expected to be more than 20 percent of family income;
  • or the child has Healthy Families coverage.

For more information, visit their website or contact your local county CSS office

Residents of Other States

Medicaid U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services official medicaid site

Insure Kids Now U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services list of state child health insurance programs

What about travel and lodging expenses?

The Fetal Treatment Center does not have funds to pay for patient expenses. It is the responsibility of the family to provide for their own needs. Some insurance plans will reimburse patients for their travel and lodging expenses.

The UCSF website has compiled a list of short term lodging options which can assist you in planning your travel to San Francisco. Please ask our office staff if you have any questions about these arrangements.

Unfortunately neither the San Francisco Ronald McDonald House nor the Koret Family House accepts families during the fetal evaluation process. After your surgery is over, accommodations might be available at either location. However, space is very limited, and their rooms are usually reserved first for families with seriously ill children.

For more information about preparing for your stay with us read Preparing for Being a Fetal Surgery Patient

What about missed work?

In some cases, time commitments for the initial surgery, extended bed rest if necessary, and follow up treatment of your child can be quite lengthy. Work and financial matters may become even more of a concern if you are traveling from out of town or another state.

It is not always possible for fetal surgery parents to go without working for extended periods of time, and as a result some have come up with creative and innovative ways of dealing with their work situations and maintaining some income:

  • Immediately contact your human resources department to ascertain your sick, vacation, comp or other off time balances. At some work sites, sick time can be "donated" to you by co-workers under these special circumstances.
  • Explore doing work through technology—teleconferencing, internet, or computer work. Depending on the kind of work you do some employers may be willing to pay you for days worked from a remote location.
  • Investigate ways in which others work at home and use some of these approaches in negotiating with your employer. One example is accepting a temporary assignment as an independent contractor.
  • While this is not an option during mandated bed rest, once you are permitted to increase your mobility, one option may be obtaining local temporary employment.
  • Collaborate with co-workers to propose work-sharing alternatives.

The Family Leave Act:

It will be important to understand how your employer interprets the FLA. The FLA serves to safeguard your job under certain medical circumstances. Generally, employers may allow up to 12 weeks medical leave without pay. Typically, you will need to submit some basic paperwork regarding the nature of the problem and your physical limitations, or those of your partner. The Fetal Treatment Team is very helpful in assisting with this documentation which you can obtain from your employer.

State Disability Insurance (SDI):

SDI provides benefits (a proportion of your wages) to eligible workers who experience a qualifying disability, including disabilities related to pregnancy and childbirth. Specific steps toward applying for and obtaining SDI benefits vary by state. Therefore, if you choose to pursue this option, you are advised to consult with your employer's human resource department and/or your state's Employment Development Department.

If you are employed, you may in fact be pleasantly surprised how supportive your employers and/or co-workers may be when they understand your circumstances and when you come to them with viable alternatives.

Read Further: Meeting the Team

Last Updated: 11/24/2009
Sarah Elizabeth

Sarah Elizabeth

Baby Sarah Elizabeth has a very successful recovery from an SCT which is removed while she is still a fetus.

Watch Video

Sam Sieber and sister