Employers Offering IVF Benefits?


Women love to hit Starbucks for a hot coffee, a frappucino, or maybe even a morning bagel, but how about fertility treatments? Get this, women are actually applying for jobs at the coffee giant because they specifically offer in-vitro fertilization treatment benefits to their employees, even part-timers. What do you all think? I love this. Wow. This is a big perk. I agree and you know, we know that one in eight couples in the United States will be impacted by infertility. And we know that IVF can be $15,000, $20,000 with people having go through two or three cycles before they even get pregnant once. And my thing is like, I wish people really understood the emotional rollercoaster associated with infertility. Some people are almost going bankrupt, you know, loving relationships are crumbling and in some cases, people even question their self-worth. And, of course, if you are doing that, please stop. Don’t question your self worth, but you know that happens sometimes and the truth is IVF doesn’t work for everybody and I know that companies, it’s a business, and so they’re not going to go bankrupt and pour all of their money into IVF, but think about it. If emotionally like your world was crumbling around you and you worked for a company that had the means to do so, they brought in billions of dollars a year, wouldn’t you want them to help you? Like, it’s the right thing to do. Well, they’re covering, (audience applause)
I guess $20,000 for IVF and related meds for eligible employees. I’m gonna take a little different position on this. At the end of the day companies like Starbucks pay their workers really low wages and you can’t put food on the table or pay your rent or pay your car insurance with this kind of benefit. So, although I appreciate it, but I wish these companies would think about increasing their wages so that low-income workers can take care of their families and can pay their rent and their other bills. (audience applause) I think it does highlight something very difficult in healthcare, which is you do, you have to make choices because if you offer one benefit, you’re probably gonna have to pull back another one ’cause not every company out there has endless amounts of money to pay for benefits. And some companies, they’ll offer higher wages with terrible benefits. Some companies offer lower wages with great benefits. I wish you could do both, but those scenarios, I do.
And, I’m concerned, I mean this is a big ticket item. I mean the money has to come from somewhere, are you– Yeah, but think about the economics. It’s a big ticket item, but how many people are going to take advantage of this benefit versus the hundreds of thousands
100%. of employees that they hire, so the economist in me says, you’re offering a benefit that looks great, but really how many people, let’s do the math on that are taking advantage of that benefit versus the regular employees who work there every day who we know would benefit from higher wages. Good point.
I don’t know, I like it. I like it. I like it, but I also think of the struggling single mothers who can’t put food on the table
This may be an unpopular thing to say, but why is it still so expensive? I don’t think I’ve seen the price tag go down, I feel like maybe that price tag should come down so it’s more affordable for more families because like, no one asks that question because that’s the one thing that’s out of reach for so many families and to me, if it’s $20,000 on average per cycle, and it takes sometimes two to three cycles even if you do get that benefit, realistically, personally, this is a great benefit I know for people to have, but I would love at some point for the economics of it to be better for everyone. Well here’s a solution, offer the benefit for those that want to take advantage of it and those that don’t, can they get the cash? Or another option?
(audience applause) And put it to other good use. That’s where flex benefits come in, where you’re given a certain amount of money to spend on benefits and you choose you may want coverage for acupuncture, you might want coverage for IVF, and that’s where flex benefits come into play and companies that offer generous flexible benefit plans, I think their employees are very happy. And some employers do that they say if you don’t want to take advantage of the health insurance that we’re offering, you can get it in bonuses, you can get it in wages, you can get it in other benefits, so this would be the perfect benefit to make available as a flex benefit. Well, both of you raise excellent points.

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