A human resources company headquartered in San Francisco is receiving praise for doing the right thing by helping all its employees build their families by way of covering a significant portion of their fertility treatments.
With an eye to the future, Gusto is attempting to bridge the gap in infertility treatment by covering up to $20,000 in treatment costs for LGBT couples and single women, who do not ordinarily fall under the definition of “infertile” and would be denied those benefits under most health insurance plans. The San Francisco Chronicle has noted that Gusto is the first company in the State of California to offer such benefits to LGBT employees.
For those who have undergone fertility treatments, the emotional exhaustion compounded by the financial costs can take its toll. According to news reports, only 15 states in the nation are obligated to offer some sort of coverage for those suffering from infertility. For those working for companies whose health insurance policies do not offer fertility treatments, the only choice is to shoulder the expenses on their own.
Equality is changing the shape of familial culture. Lesbian and gay couples do not fall under the standard definition of infertility, which typically reads as, “A woman who cannot conceive after 12 months of unprotected heterosexual intercourse.” A description like this excludes the LGBT community and wouldn’t allow access to covered infertility care for single women without partners.
When a same-sex couple or a single person desires to become a parent, they must explore non-traditional pathways.
Josh Reeves, the chief executive officer of Gusto, decided to approach the topic of providing access to fertility treatment for such employees with determination, vision, and charisma. Reeves’ inspiration was his employee, Katie Evans-Reber, and her spouse, Amy.
Already mothers to one child, the women wanted to add to their family. The couple had already spent $40,000 on unsuccessful fertility treatments and couldn’t continue due to the high costs.
Reeves was compelled to make a change for the better. The goal for Gusto was to find options for fertility coverage for its team members that were less limiting in nature.
“Gusto did so by eliminating the need for a medical diagnosis of infertility for its employees to get fertility treatments covered,” Marissa Lang of the San Francisco Chronicle reported. She continued, “Gusto’s fertility plan will initially cover about $20,000 worth of treatment. This includes the more common methods of intrauterine insemination and in vitro fertilization. It also covers gamete intrafallopian transfer and zygote intrafallopian transfer, less common surgical techniques thought to have greater rates of success.”
Gusto is helping to make corporate America more compassionate and connected to their employees — hoping that other businesses will be inspired to step forward in the same way.
When interviewed, Reeves admitted he was shocked to discover that healthcare providers weren’t often questioned by other companies about enhancing their fertility packages to benefit all employees, regardless of their sexual orientation.
The article noted that while many high tech companies in the Bay Area and Silicon Valley offer benefits related to family leave and paying for female employees to have their eggs harvested and stored, Gusto took its benefits package to a whole other level.
“These lofty benefits that you hear about at companies in the valley are typically referred to as perks,” Reeves said. “This is not a perk. This is a way to change lives.”
Congratulations to Gusto for their leadership in making a change.