Employers to provide billions in fertility benefits coverage

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Employers may be investing more money in their fertility coverage.

Carrot Fertility, a provider of the benefits, says it will deliver $3 billion in new employer-sponsored fertility coverage at 100 companies next year. Among the employers offering the benefits through Carrot are tech companies Slack, Foursquare, Box and Samsara; retailers Stitch Fix and Tamara Mellon; and sustainable food and logistics company Zume.

Tammy Sun, founder and CEO of Carrot, says the company has seen expansion of fertility benefits in industries including food and beverage, technology, financial services, retail and transportation.

“It’s really democratizing access to fertility benefits,” Sun says. “More than half of the customers we have never had fertility benefits before. A big part of the mission of the company is making sure employers of all types have access to coverage that allows them to offer high-quality fertility benefits to employees.”

See also: Starbucks expands fertility benefits to cover surrogacy, boosts reimbursements

The nature of fertility coverage has changed over the years. Some employers are moving to cover new benefits including surrogacy and egg freezing, in addition to procedures like in vitro fertilization.

For example, Starbucks recently updated its benefits. Last month the coffee giant bolstered its benefits to reimburse for surrogacy and intrauterine insemination not covered by health insurance. Workers will receive reimbursements of up to $10,000 per qualifying event, with a lifetime maximum of $30,000.

More employers are considering fertility benefits as healthcare, Sun says. This changing attitude may be part of the reason why employers are covering new fertility services and benefits.

“We’re in a moment of pretty important change with regard to that sentiment,” she says. “[In the] 40 years since IVF was created, it has largely been considered a luxury consumer good because most employees pay for it out of pocket.”

See also: Why Microsoft revamped its fertility benefits plan

Fertility benefit providers are also innovating and updating their offerings. In October, for example, Carrot released a new fertility debit card called the Carrot Card for employees who have access to the company’s fertility benefits at work. Employees can use the card to pay for treatment including egg freezing, IVF, adoption donor and gestation services. Previously, employers could only offer the benefits as a reimbursement.

Sun says Carrot plans to continue to expand moving forward. The company will be ramping up its international offerings beginning next year. Employers are becoming more interested in providing these benefits to employees globally, she adds.

“We see a lot of interest in Carrot and fertility benefits from the global benefits community,” she says. “That geographic parity is becoming more and more important.”

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