Sep 27, 2022 - Economy

Walmart to offer fertility treatments as employee benefit

Walmart signage

Photo: Robyn Beck/Getty Images

Walmart is partnering with fertility startup, Kindbody, to offer family-building as an employee benefit under its insurance plan, the company announced Tuesday.

Driving the news: The retail giant's employees will have access to over 30 fertility clinics and in vitro fertilization labs nationwide, starting Nov. 1. Eligible workers also get access to Walmart's surrogacy and adoption benefits.

  • Of note: Benefits include IVF and fertility testing regardless of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status, per Walmart.

Why it matters: The expanded benefits aim to help "democratize" fertility treatments.

The big picture: Walmart joins other big employers, including Amazon, in efforts to help employees with adoption or coverage of services such as fertility treatments. More companies are beefing up their benefits packages to lure workers in the tight labor market, and many are adding pricey fertility benefits — such as IVF and egg freezing — to their menu of offerings, Axios' Erica Pandey reports.

  • In the past, many employers avoided offering fertility benefits due to concerns about the cost, according to a 2021 report from Mercer report. But the rise in the number of fertility clinics — and growing demand for their services — is driving down the price, Gina Bartasi, Kindbody founder and CEO, told Axios in January.
  • 97% of employers who provide this coverage say it has not resulted in a significant increase in medical plan costs, per the Mercer survey.

Zoom in: Arkansas-based employees will get access to a new, state-of-the-art clinic and IVF in Rogers that will provide virtual, at-home and in-clinic care.

  • That facility is expected to open later this year.

What to watch: Look for fertility services to become a new standard benefit at work, Erica writes.

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