Facebook recently began covering egg freezing, and Apple will start in January.
This makes the firms appear to be the first major employers to offer this coverage for non-medical reasons.
Egg freezing allows women to put their fertility on ice, so to speak, until they’re ready to become parents. But the procedure comes at a steep price: Costs typically add up to at least $10,000 for every round, plus $500 or more annually for storage.
“Having a high-powered career and children is still a very hard thing to do,” said Brigitte Adams, an egg-freezing advocate and founder of the patient forum Eggsurance.com. By offering this benefit, companies are investing in women, she said, and supporting them in carving out the lives they want.
The companies offer egg-freezing coverage under slightly different terms: Apple covers costs under its fertility benefit, and Facebook under its surrogacy benefit, both up to $20,000. Women at Facebook began taking advantage of the coverage this year.
However, there’s no guarantee the procedure will lead to a baby down the road. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine doesn’t keep comprehensive stats on babies born from frozen eggs – in fact, the group cautions against relying on egg freezing to extend fertility – though experts say the earlier a woman freezes her eggs, the greater her chances of success.
Doctors often recommend women freeze at least 20 eggs, which can require two costly rounds.
Egg freezing has even been described as a key to “leveling the playing field” between men and women: Without the crushing pressure of a ticking biological clock, women have more freedom in making life choices, say advocates.
Both companies offer benefits for fertility treatment and adoption. Facebook famously gives new parents $4,000 in so-called “baby cash” to use however they’d like.
Via NBC News