Fertility Treatments Don’t Have to Drain Your Savings — Here’s Why

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June 22, 2024 at 9:46PM UTC

Whether you're years away from having kids or you're actively trying to get pregnant, navigating fertility alongside your career can be tricky – and expensive. That's why Fairygodboss has teamed up with Modern Fertility, a company dedicated to offering the best information around fertility so women can make informed decisions around how their fertility factors into their careers. 

As part of this series, we’ve checked in with Cisco – a company that’s leading the way in supporting employees who are struggling with fertility (and, by the way, they’re hiring now!). Cisco’s Karen Wiens, Director of Health and Welfare Design in the U.S. and Canada, shared with us what, exactly, Cisco offers in terms of fertility benefits, the impetus behind enhancing their offerings, and how these benefits are tied to Cisco’s cultural roots.

Cisco is known for offering benefits that are particularly helpful for employees who are struggling with fertility. Can you tell us about what those offerings look like? 

Coverage for addressing infertility is provided through each of our medical plans, and has been available for many years. The details vary by insurance carrier, but for our largest U.S. plans we provide up to $50,000 for medical and prescription drug services.

Why has Cisco opted to become a leader in its fertility benefits offerings? 

Rooted in Cisco’s culture is our commitment to providing support to our employees, spouses and domestic partners who dream of becoming a parent, whatever path that takes.  

This past fall (in October 2018) Cisco expanded its U.S. benefits in this area. What enhancements were made? 

These benefits and enhancements include:

  • New family support reimbursement: Starting in 2019, Cisco is offering reimbursement of up to $20,000 to harvest or store egg, sperm or embryo, in addition to support for services that facilitate pregnancy (IVF). Our medical plans provide this today when there is an infertility diagnosis or risk, but we’ve expanded this support to those who don’t have a medical diagnosis. By enhancing our offering, we are able to provide meaningful support to all Cisco employees and families along their unique journeys.

  • Enhancing our adoption and surrogacy reimbursement: Cisco has increased reimbursement for adoption and surrogacy from $10,000 to $20,000 in 2019.  

Tell us about the process behind expanding and implementing these benefits. What was the impetus (did it come from employee feedback? Somewhere else)? 

We know that the best talent comes from an inclusive environment and culture where we celebrate diverse backgrounds and families. As part of our benefits strategy, we continually evaluate our offerings with an eye to enhance in targeted areas.

What kind of response/reaction do employees tend to have regarding these benefits? 

As you can imagine, becoming a parent is one of life’s most memorable moments. Employees who have received support from Cisco to grow their family are extremely appreciative. This is all part of “Our People Deal” — the culture we create together, every day.


If you have your own questions surrounding fertility and career, please ask us here!


Fairygodboss is proud to partner with Cisco.

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