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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Apple, Facebook offer women egg freezing insurance plans

Women whose biological clocks are ticking, and who also work for two mega Silicon Valley companies, will now have the insurance option of putting motherhood on ice, literally.

That’s because Apple and Facebook have become the first major employers in the country to offer its employees the option to freeze their eggs.

The coverage is part of a growing trend by the technological giants to attract and retain women in the industry by giving them the option to postpone pregnancy during their formative career years.

Appleinsider says the fertility perk will give the company “an extra edge in wooing top female talent and keeping current employees on board for longer periods.”

The procedure of extracting, freezing and banking a woman’s eggs for later in vitro fertilization, which is called Oocyte Cryopreservation, does not come cheap.

One round can cost between $7,000 and $12,000, not to mention the additional costs of medications as well as egg storage which can run about $500 a year. And many women have to undergo the extraction a second time to get the recommended amount of eggs.

It also does not guarantee that a woman may have a child in the future. According to the website Eggsurance, it’s more like an insurance policy for the possibility of having kids.

It does, however, give a woman an opportunity to save the reproductive cells when they are most viable.

According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the best chance of having a baby is when a woman is in her 20s because fertility declines drastically by the time she is 35 years old.

Both companies will offer up to $20,000 for the procedure in addition to a host of varying other parenthood perks including fertility services for men and women, and adoption and surrogacy assistance.

Brigitte Adams, the founder of Eggsurance, said that by offering the coverage the companies are investing in and supporting women.

“Having a high-powered career and children is still a very hard thing to do,” said Adams.

Apple said that by allowing women to delay their dreams of having children empowers them “to do the best work of their lives as they care for loved ones and raise their families.”

Critics, however, are already pouring cold water on the plan. Some said the policies send a message that work is more important than motherhood.

Others mused that it's really an evil plot. A post on the Valleywag blog is titled "Facebook and Apple Offer Egg-Freezing Perk So Women Never Stop Working."


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