Employers with the Most Generous IVF coverage
Statistics from the National Infertility Association indicate that upwards of 10 percent of couples experience fertility challenges. This means that upwards of 7 million women, many of them employed in the workforce struggle with fertility issues. These fertility challenges vary dramatically in terms of severity. Some issues respond well to pharmacological interventions, whereas others may require more intensive, and thus, more expensive, treatment. Cost concerns often shape what treatments people opt for and how long they can continue treatment.
What Is IVF?
Over the last several decades, medical research and technological innovations have resulted in dramatic improvements in the IVF process. IVF happens when a sperm and an egg are combined in a test tube outside the human body, where they are fertilized. The resulting embryo is then implanted.
Even though IVF has opened the door to parenthood for countless individuals, it is not without drawbacks. For example, some patients report unpleasant side effects from IVF treatment hormones. Also, IVF treatment tends to be costly. Many statistics suggest that IVF can cost up to $15,000 per attempt or cycle, plus the cost of drugs.
The Economics of IVF Treatments
Traditionally, many insurance plans have carved out IVF and other costly fertility treatments. This means that patients often have to finance these treatments out-of-pocket. Costs can quickly become overwhelming for most average families. However, there is good news on the financial front.
Companies that Cover IVF Treatments
Increasingly, many socially progressive companies are including IVF treatments in their medical coverage for employees and their families. A small handful of companies offer unlimited fertility benefits; this can be an important tool to attract potential employees to the company and it can also improve workers’ quality of life, and thus, their productivity. What is good for a worker is frequently good for the company. Some women even report that what treatments a company does or does not cover makes or breaks their decision to join a company. Companies that offer unlimited fertility benefits include: Bain, Chanel, and Spotify. These companies do not put caps on the amount of money that can be spent on fertility treatments, which can be important since many people require repeated rounds of IVF. However, even with these generous companies, not all employees are covered. People need to have worked for the company for a period of time, and most benefits are restricted to full-time employees.
Companies that Cover IVF Treatments … With Some Exemptions
There are other companies that have expanded their coverage of fertility treatments, but may not be as generous as Bain, Chanel, and Spotify. For example, Bank of America offers unlimited (no-cap) coverage for fertility treatments. But, Bank of America only extends these treatment options to heterosexual couples. Facebook also offers generous benefits to its employees. But, unlike with the previous mentioned companies, there are caps on what it covers. Facebook covers up to four rounds of IVF treatments (with a maximum value of $100,000). Pinterest’s policy closely mirrors the one offered by Facebook, covering four rounds of IVF treatments.
Rather than focusing on the number of treatment cycles, other companies’ policies are geared towards setting a maximum amount that will be covered. The maximum amount tends to be set at approximately $40,000 per employee, although there are certain variations from company to company. For example, Intel caps its benefits at $40,000, but it does offer an additional $20,000 in coverage for prescription drugs that are often associated with fertility treatment. Starbucks, on the other hand, has a lower limit of only $20,000. However, unlike with other companies, Starbucks’ benefits extend to even part-time baristas.
The conversation above shows that there can be significant company-to-company differences. Therefore, it is important to read your insurance policy carefully, and, if you have questions, contact your HR Department or your insurance company directly.
More than 10 percent of women in the United States experience fertility problems. One route to solving these problems is IVF. But IVF is costly and many insurance plans do not cover it. However, more and more companies in the United States are recognizing that fertility is a major concern for its employees. To mitigate the stress associated with fertility challenges, more and more employers (including the companies highlighted above) are expanding their insurance plans to include fertility treatments. And, employees are embracing this change.