Apple is offering a new job perk to the women on its payroll: the company will cover the cost of freezing their eggs. The iPhone and iPad maker will cover up to US$20,000 for the procedure, and will gladly do so for non-medical reasons.
Apple adds egg freezing to employee benefits
Apple, along with Facebook, are the first to big-name companies offering to cover the procedure, according to NBC News. Collecting and freezing enough eggs — about 20 — typically involves two doctor visits totaling $10,000 each.
Freezing the eggs isn't a guarantee that the woman will later be able to get pregnant, but it does add a fallback option should she want to wait to have a baby but also reduce the risk of complications from older eggs. The procedure involves several days of fertility drugs, then an outpatient procedure that has patients back to work the next day.
Offering coverage for egg freezing is a big move in support of women's reproductive rights
and sends a strong statement considering other companies, such as Hobby Lobby, have been actively and openly opposed to covering female birth control. It also shows Apple is more inclined to treat all of its employees equally.
The medical benefit can be empowering for women, and egg freezing is an option that makes it easier to choose when, or if, to have a baby.
Adding egg freezing to its medical benefits package is a sign that Apple takes employee equality and reproductive rights seriously, and hopefully will serve as a model for other companies to follow.