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Intel expands fertility and adoption benefits to entice female employees

Intel announced this week it planned to quadruple fertility and adoption benefits, upping the ante for large tech firms that have been trying to woo women workers with healthcare coverage.
/ Source: TODAY

Intel announced this week that it planned to quadruple fertility benefits and triple adoption benefits for its employees, upping the ante for large tech firms that are trying to woo female workers by offering greater than average healthcare coverage.

Because one in eight women nationally struggle with fertility, Intel said boosting benefits for people struggling in that area is just good for business.

“This initiative is basically trying to help our employees at a time when any research says that it's very stressful, specifically, people trying to start a family,” said Richard Taylor, Intel’s director of human resources.

Women account for a little more than 24 percent of Intel’s workforce, and the company hopes that figure will grow.

“What we wanted to do was to keep the talent we've got, and also help to attract even more talent,” Taylor said.

MORE: Facebook and Apple cover egg freezing costs for employees

Intel announced in a blog post Monday that beginning in 2016, it would boost its fertility benefit coverage from $10,000 to $40,000 for medical services. It also would increase related prescription services from $5,000 to $20,000.

In addition, employees no longer need a medical diagnosis for fertility coverage, which will help some same-sex couples. Intel also said it will triple adoption assistance to $15,000 per child.

The benefit coverage is a health-care trend seen particularly among the larger tech companies. Facebook, Yahoo! and Apple, for example, now offer to pay for egg freezing.

While some form of infertility treatment is covered by many companies, only about a quarter cover in vitro fertilization, one of the most expensive. A single treatment cycle can cost as much as $30,000, with a success rate of only 20 to 30 percent.

"We were willing to break into our retirement and take a loan or do what we had to do because we wanted to have children so badly,” Crystal Czubernat told TODAY.

Fortunately for her, Czubernat’s health benefits covered nearly all of her fertility costs.

“We didn't have to fret over how we would afford it necessarily,” she said. “We had to fret over things like, ‘We're going to be parents!’ and ‘How do we do that?’ Rather than, ‘How do we pay for it?’”

While large, profitable tech companies are leading the charge on fertility treatment coverage, the trend may take longer to be embraced by mainstream and smaller businesses that would have a more difficult time affording the costs of such healthcare premiums.