IVF coverage by employers on the rise? How to know what your company offers

ABC News' Rebecca Jarvis shares what some companies are now offering.

February 8, 2019, 1:09 PM

Infertility coverage is the in-demand benefit of the moment for women and more companies are stepping up to offer to help pay for treatments like in-vitro fertilization (IVF).

Over 400 U.S. companies offer benefits for fertility treatments, according to data collected by Fertility IQ, a fertility information website.

Starbucks offers one of the best company benefits, with part-time employees receiving infertility coverage after just one month on the job. Companies including Bank of America, Tesla and Spotify offer unlimited IVF coverage to their workers.

Even with some employers adding infertility benefits, the majority of IVF patients treated last year paid for all or some of their treatment out-of-pocket, according to Fertility IQ.

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A single round of in-vitro fertilization can cost upwards of $20,000 and often requires more than one try. More than seven million women in the U.S. have used infertility services, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

PHOTO: An undated stock photo depicts a woman giving herself an injection.
STOCK PHOTO/Getty Images

Haley Burns, 29, began to research companies that offered IVF when she realized she would need the treatment. After doing research, she discovered that the health care company she worked for offered a good fertility plan.

“It's obviously a company that cares about their employees,” Burns told “Good Morning America.” “Finding out that my company and what they offered was so much better than their competitors out there made a difference and made me stay with the company.”

PHOTO: Haley Burns, 29, began to research companies that offered IVF when she realized she would need the treatment.
Haley Burns, 29, began to research companies that offered IVF when she realized she would need the treatment.

More than 70 percent of Fertility IQ survey respondents said their company did not do a good job of making employees aware of fertility benefits, while a majority reported a "greater sense of loyalty and commitment" to employers who offer benefits.

Employees unsure of their benefits can turn to their human resources representative for help or do their own research, whether by talking to colleagues, reading the fine print in paperwork or going online.

Fertility-focused organizations have also begun to offer tips for employees who want to ask their employers for IVF benefits.

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ABC News chief business correspondent Rebecca Jarvis is pregnant with her first child thanks to the help of infertility treatments, she said on "GMA."

She shared these four tips to help women try to lower the cost of infertility treatments.

1. Call your insurance provider: [Call] whatever insurance you’re getting through your company and ask them what fertility benefits they offer. Typically it’s the insurance providers themselves that can explain which benefits you’re eligible for.

Also, ask insurance provider about different plans – sometimes it’s different coverage depending on which plan you’re on and it might make sense to switch.

2. Look at your partner's insurance: In some cases that’s going to be a bigger benefit than the one you’re getting from your company.

3. Negotiate: "When you’re going out and talking to these various fertility providers, negotiate. Caution against just making choice on cheapest option. If they’re not the strongest provider, you could be setting yourself up for multiple rounds of treatment which becomes more expensive.

[And] look at the [fertility] drug prices because different pharmacies offer different drug prices and they can get upwards of thousands of dollars."

4. Find grants and scholarships: "There are a number of organizations that offer grants and scholarships." The Kevin J. Lederer Life Foundation in Chicago, for example, offers grants to cover the medical costs of IVF treatments. Other resources include the Kyle Busch Foundation, the Baby Quest Foundation and the Cade Foundation.

Have more infertility coverage questions for Rebecca Jarvis? Tweet her at @RebeccaJarvis.

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