This Baby-Making App Is Taking on the Task of Insuring Against Infertility

Those who do not conceive after 10 months receive funds for infertility tests from either a public pool they contributed to or from their employer

Photo: Esparta Palma

The primary business of a startup called Glow is providing fertility planning services. It's part of the personal-data boom—give it enough info, and it will identify days a couple will most likely get pregnant and gives strategies for upping those odds. The company's newest program, though, is offering a type of insurance for infertility—a sort of satisfaction-guaranteed-or-your-money-back scheme. 

It works like this: Couples or women trying to get pregnant pay $50 to the company each month. Then, if they have not become pregnant at the end of 10 months, they receive at least $500 towards infertility treatment services. The money from all the couples who were contributing to the pool is split among those who did not become pregnant, so the more people participate, the more money the couples who don't conceive will receive.

Now, Glow is trying to expand that insurance option beyond just volunteer participants by including businesses as well. So far, three companies—Eventbrite, Everynote and Domo—have signed up. It works the same way as the private option, but with employers paying the fee each month. Wired UK elaborates

Employees don't need to inform their boss they're trying to conceive to use the service. They just need to sign up to the app using their company email address or a photo of their most recent payslip. The company does not receive alerts telling them who's trying to get pregnant, but anonymous, aggregated results at the end of the month showing them how many are participating. In larger companies this is fine, in smaller firms it might be pretty obvious who is signing up, however.

As Quartz points out, however, depending on local laws, for some companies this might be more of a PR move than an acutal means for providing employees with fertility insurance: 

As Evernote and Eventbrite are located in California, a state that requires fertility treatment coverage, it’s not clear what they stand to gain from using Glow Enterprise—unless the companies are self-insured, and would otherwise pay for such services themselves. Domo is located in Utah, a state that doesn’t require coverage, so their sign-on makes more sense.

Glow's only been in business a few months, so the company doesn't yet have a track rate for success either in avoiding and enabling pregnancies or in providing infertility insurance, Quartz writes. Give it ten months, and see how it does.

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