Since egg freezing shed its “experimental” designation in 2012, it’s received a lot of press—and much of that was focused on the fact that some tech companies, such as Facebook and Google, decided to offer egg freezing employee benefits, covering all (or most) of the cost of the procedure for their female employees.
There are many reasons why companies should consider offering egg freezing employee benefits—let’s review.
Why women are asking for egg freezing employee benefits
Human resources personnel we’ve spoken with report getting more and more inquiries about benefits coverage for elective egg freezing every year. Why?
People are getting married—and having children—later than ever before.
According to a report by the CDC in 2014, women are waiting longer than ever to start a family, with the average maternal age at first birth reaching 26.3 years old. That trend is likely to continue, as, according to the “State of Fertility” report by Healthline, “putting off parenthood is a reality for 1 in 2 millennial men and women.” (That means covering egg freezing for female employees—and the female partners of male employees—may benefit up to 50% of young employees.)
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There are lots of reasons for this; student debt and other financial pressures, plus more career and education options for women, are both factors. But another important factor is that women are getting married later, too. In fact, the number one reason that women cite for considering egg freezing is not for their careers, but because they haven’t found the right partner yet. Offering egg freezing employee benefits to these women means your company is meeting them where they already are.
IVF is becoming more common.
There are plenty of benefits to later parenthood, but it’s a biological fact that it’s more difficult for women to get pregnant naturally as they get older. It makes sense, then, that as childbearing age increases, so does the demand for assisted reproductive technology like in vitro fertilization. More women are using IVF to get pregnant than ever before, and the number of babies born from IVF treatment hit 1 million last year.
Many modern women know that, if they wait to have children, they could need IVF, or even egg donation, to get pregnant later on. Offering egg freezing employee benefits is one way to help these women make proactive decisions about their fertility.
Fertility treatments can be quite expensive out-of-pocket.
According to FertilityIQ, the total costs associated with just one round of in vitro fertilization is over $23,000 in New York City, and the total cost of egg freezing is about $11,000 per cycle, on average, nationwide. (Our egg freezing costs are half that!) So it makes sense for women who need to access these procedures to ask whether egg freezing employee benefits are available to them.
And if your company is offering infertility coverage, you should consider offering egg freezing employee benefits, too—because freezing your eggs now can actually save money (and has a higher success rate) compared to doing in vitro fertilization later. One study demonstrated that freezing eggs before age 35, and then using at 40, decreased the cost of a live birth by over $15,000.
Why your company should consider egg freezing benefits
It makes sense that employees will benefit from egg freezing coverage—but how can it benefit employers, too?
Egg freezing employee benefits can help your company stand out to competitive candidates—especially women.
As previously mentioned, women are asking for these benefits, so offering them can help your company jump to the top of the list for competitive candidates. Egg freezing employee benefits—along with all fertility benefits—are still rare; according to FertilityIQ, only 37% of those undergoing fertility treatments in 2017 had any form of coverage at all. (This depends on the industry, though. Fertility benefits, including egg freezing coverage, is much more common in the technology and finance fields than in other industries.)
Offering these benefits will demonstrate that your company is listening to what its employees really want, and give your business a hiring edge.
Employees who have received fertility coverage are more committed and loyal to their companies.
According to a 2017 report by FertilityIQ, fertility coverage, such as egg freezing employee benefits, have been demonstrated to increase employee loyalty (61% of respondents) and commitment (53% of respondents).