Gusto, a startup with 300 employees in San Francisco and Denver, just became the first
midsize company in the US to cover fertility treatments in a way that will help single women and same-sex couples, according to Cigna.
Fifteen states require employers to offer some fertility coverage, reports the San Francisco’s Chronicle’s Marissa Lang, but that coverage often hinges on a being diagnosed as clinically infertile, as defined by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine.
A gay couple might not be clinically infertile (incapable of getting pregnant after a year of unprotected heterosexual sex), but they still can’t biologically conceive a child together.
A single woman can’t biologically conceive on her own either.
So Gusto is offering insurance that ditched the medical diagnosis requirement and will cover up to $20,000 worth of treatment anyway.
Gusto CEO Josh Reeves was inspired to extend this fertility provision by one of his employees, Katie Evans-Reber, and her wife Amy. The couple had one child together and were trying for a second but their fertility treatments were not working. After a lot of heartache and $40,000 worth of attempts, they couldn’t afford to keep trying.
When researching insurance that covered infertility treatments in this less restrictive way, Reeves was surprised by how few employers ever researched the question. Cigna told the Chronicle that it estimated there were perhaps four other companies offering this benefit nationwide.
“My hope is Gusto can lead by example and inspire other businesses to do the same,” Reeves told Business Insider.
While Reeves may be motivated by kindness (he’s known to be a very nice guy), in many ways, it makes good business sense for Gusto to pioneer this benefit, too.
Gusto offers payroll and insurance benefit software to small and mid-sized companies. It’s pitch is that it’s software treats people more humanely, Reeves tells Business Insider.