On Thursday, October 22, the Today Show discussed the news that Intel will quadruple fertility benefits for employees beginning January 2016. With this expansion, Intel will join Silicon Valley giants, Apple, Facebook, and Yahoo! to include coverage for female employees to freeze their eggs, a fertility option that is often not covered by insurance.
In the past year, Apple, Facebook, and Yahoo! made headlines when they announced they would pay for their female employees’ egg freezing procedures. Now, another tech leader, Intel, made sweeping changes to their employees’ healthcare plans, quadrupling their current coverage with $40,000 in fertility benefits, $20,000 for fertility drug coverage, and $15,000 for adoption fees.
On the Today Show, Intel’s Richard Taylor said, “this initiative is designed to help our employees at a time when any research says it’s very stressful specifically (for) people trying to start a family.”
With the news that elective egg freezing will be covered, questions often arise about the cost, viability, and future pregnancy rates of frozen eggs. As women age, their ability to conceive naturally declines; typically, this decline steepens at the age of 35. In 2012, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine lifted the “experimental” label on elective egg freezing as the use of a flash-freezing method called vitrification proved to increase viability of the frozen eggs. Women in their late 20s, 30s, and early 40s are now discovering that when it comes to starting a family, they can extend their fertility and family building options through egg freezing.
One Entrepreneur’s Plan to Freeze Her Eggs
Many women feel as if a giant clock is continuously ticking (the biological clock), however, with egg freezing, women are feeling more empowered to pursue their career, education, travel, and relationships while holding on to the dream of motherhood for when the timing is right. This is especially true for Jami Texter, a Manhattan-based marketing and publications entrepreneur, “I can’t wait to be a hands-on mother, but I know that time is not now. I don’t want to leave things up to chance, so I’m buying peace of mind.”
Jami’s has been proactive in planning for her future. Only 30 years old, she says, “If I’m not ready to have [kids] by the time I’m 34, I’m going to freeze my eggs.”
The Cost of Frozen Eggs
Women aren’t only concerned about their future families but the financial stress it may take today to help preserve their fertility. Fortunately, progressive fertility centers have recognized the need for financial reassurance and relief and, in late 2013, began offering programs to help patients.
At Shady Grove Fertility, a range of financial options are available for women considering egg freezing. In addition, financing is available, providing women with a monthly payment option to further increase access to affordable care.
Pregnancy Rates of Frozen Eggs
Egg freezing with vitrification is just over 3 years old, so until recently, when a savvy woman would ask her physician about success rates the data was simply not available. However, at last month’s American Society for Reproductive Medicine’s annual meeting, Shady Grove Fertility released a groundbreaking study, releasing pregnancy rates of autologous (non-donor egg) patients. The first and largest published study of its kind, the results showed pregnancy success rates for women who used frozen eggs were similar to those who used fresh eggs. Furthermore, there is now data to educate egg freezing patients about how many live births to expect based on age and number of eggs frozen. Now, when women ask about results, there’s data to back it up.
About the Today.com Story Author: Sarah Elizabeth Richards
Sarah Elizabeth Richards a trusted voice and thought leader when it comes to egg freezing, often sharing her experience and latest news about egg freezing in The New York Times, Marie Claire, Bloomberg Businessweek, and most recently on Today.com. She also authored the book Motherhood, Rescheduled: The New Frontier of Egg Freezing and the Women Who Tried It, which chronicles the accounts of four women who elect egg freezing, and examines how life might change if a woman could stop the biological clock.
- Meet Sarah, the key note speaker at Shady Grove Fertility’s 2nd Annual Egg Freezing Conference in Washington, D.C., on Sunday, November 8, 2015.
To learn more about Shady Grove Fertility’s Egg Freezing Program join us on Sunday, November 8 in Washington, D.C. for our second annual Egg Freezing Conference with special guest Sarah Elizabeth Richards.