Only one out of eight couples have trouble getting pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to term.
According to an NBC report, that one-out-of-eight translates to just 12 percent of women, but as prospective mothers age, that percentage is growing higher—and those prospective mothers are turning to in-vitro fertilization to make their ambitions come true. And, according to the report, about one out of every 60 newborns come into the world by way of IVF.
But insurance coverage for the process is still limited. A Mercer study this year found that only 26 percent of companies with over 500 employees cover the procedure. And that drives many Americans paying the entire expense fully out of pocket—which is not only driving costs higher, but making the process riskier.
Thpough overall offering of IVF benefits is low, certain industries are more likely to than others. The tech sector scored highest among FertilityIQ’s 14 categories in measuring industries’ willingness to provide benefits and three categories of the benefits they offer: average dollar size, accessibility and prevalence.
Tech is followed by consulting and accounting, finance, and interestingly enough, fashion, media and government. Among the companies offering the best benefits are Facebook and Salesforce, which provide benefits that top $100,000 per employee, although Uber, Pinterest, Wayfair, Snapchat, Foursquare and others are giving them a run for their money.
So do Bain and BCG, which provide an unlimited amount of coverage, but within the banking and finance sector, employees have trouble accessing the benefit despite the growing number of companies within the sector providing it.
According to FertilityIQ.com, while IVF costs vary from place to place within the country, “in every major American city they are now comfortably above $20,000 per cycle, nearly twice the commonly reported rates of $12,400.” And since the average IVF patient will undergo more than two cycles in the quest to become pregnant, that puts the total for IVF treatment costs at nearly a full year’s household income: $51,000.
In addition, 63 percent of patients and employees receive zero coverage, says FertilityIQ, while almost 20 percent get complete coverage. In fact, Fast Company reports that employers are leaning toward coverage—even as the costs can often top $23,000 per patient per round—with the number of US companies offering an IVF benefit growing by approximately 10 percent in 2017. But of course, that’s still not a lot when compared to companies that don’t offer it.
And for those who end up footing the whole bill, both cost and risk are rising, since it costs no more to implant three embryos, or even more, than to implant a single embryo—but multiple births are risky, for both mother and child.