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Apple, Facebook's Egg-Freezing Benefit: 3 Questions for Employers

Apple and Facebook recently began offering to pay for female employees to freeze their eggs, a procedure that typically costs at least $10,000.

NBC News reports that the two tech giants may be attempting to compete for top female talent by allowing women who work for them to put their reproductive choices on ice. Covering the costs of egg freezing may allow female employees to pursue their careers without sacrificing their fertility, and Apple and Facebook are leading the way.

Before you worry about your company's fertility coverage, here are three questions employers may be asking about this egg-freezing benefit:

1. Is Fertility Coverage Required by Law?

Both Apple and Facebook reportedly cover up to $20,000 worth of egg-freezing-related medical care, through their fertility and surrogacy benefits, respectively. That's above and beyond what most employers are required to cover for their workers.

Although the Obamacare employer mandate has been delayed until 2015, even when businesses are forced to comply, the bare minimum plan will likely not need to cover fertility treatments like egg freezing.

As Lara Salahi told Boston.com, Obamacare's changes may make it easier for infertile women to get individual coverage, but what exactly has to be covered by private insurers varies by state. If your business already has health coverage for your full-time employees, you probably won't need to make sure it covers egg freezing.

2. Is This Good or Bad for Women in the Workplace?

Facebook and Apple have often been criticized for the dystopian-tech flavor that their workplace policies seem to take on. The Daily Beast goes even further, slamming this egg-freezing benefit as "a hasty technical stopgap for a cultural problem. In other words, offering female employees money as a way to convince them not to put off childrearing until their 40s is not a substitute for policies that embrace working moms."

As pregnancy discrimination complaints are on the rise, instead of thinking about egg freezing, you may want to brush up on your policies surrounding women who are keeping their eggs.

3. What Perks Do You Offer Moms?

Aside from the state and federal laws relating to mothers that you should be following, start to consider what extra perks (other than egg freezing) your company might offer to attract and retain top female talent. Perhaps your business can offer full or partial compensation for daycare costs or flexible work-from-home policies to accommodate childcare.

Egg-freezing benefits may be one option, but your company has much cheaper alternatives for accommodating women's reproductive choices.

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