Starbucks Expands Fertility Benefits -The 411

Employees at Starbucks now have access to broader fertility benefits.

Starting this month, the coffee giant is bolstering its benefits to reimburse for surrogacy and intrauterine insemination not covered by health insurance. Workers will receive reimbursements of up to $10,000 per qualifying event, with a lifetime maximum of $30,000.

Lifetime maximums for fertility benefits are also increasing under Starbucks medical plans — to $25,000 from $15,000 for fertility services, and to $10,000 from $5,000 for prescription drugs. All full- and part-time benefit employees who work at least 20 hours per week are eligible for the benefits.

A company spokesperson told Employee Benefit News, Starbucks wanted to update its Family Expansion Reimbursement program to assist employees whose needs are not fully met by health insurance.

“We made this change to assist partners whose needs may not be met by their healthcare insurance company, such as same-gender couples looking to become parents or individuals seeking fertility services,” a Starbucks spokesperson said in an email.

While nearly all (87%) employers cover some kind of infertility benefit through their health plan, companies are expanding their benefits to cover different services such as surrogacy and egg freezing, according to data from the National Business Group on Health. Of that group, some 71% of employers cover in vitro fertilization, 69% cover artificial insemination and 34% cover egg freezing.

Fertility services are often expensive — the average IVF cycle costs $12,000, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Benefits that cover some of the cost can help to ease the burden on workers. Large employers including Microsoft, Cisco and MassMutual all offer fertility benefits to workers.

Starbucks has been making big changes to its benefits. Last year the company said it would spend $250 million on new employee benefits including a pay boost for domestic workers, in the wake of the federal tax overhaul. In September, the company updated its employee assistance program with a new long-term initiative that includes an enhanced employee assistance program and mental health training for store managers, which will begin in the second quarter of next year.

“We brought 12,000 store leaders together for an unprecedented session on mental well-being and emotional first aid,” Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson said in a statement about the updated EAP program. “That was just the first step in a new long-term initiative to take a stand, help break the stigma around mental health, and get even more partners and their loved ones the support they need.”

Starbucks offers a number of other family-friendly benefits including parental leave, employee and family sick time, and backup child and adult care. It also provides tuition reimbursement to workers looking to earn a bachelor’s degree.

“We are consistently evolving our benefits as we continue to listen and learn from our partners (employees),” the company told EBN. “It has long been our belief that when we put our partners first.”

Eighteen Weeks & Counting ! – The 411



How my baby’s growing

Head to rump, the baby is about 5 1/2 inches long, and she weighs almost 7 ounces (about the size of a bell pepper). She’s busy flexing her arms and legs — movements that you’ll start noticing more and more in the weeks ahead. Her blood vessels are visible through her thin skin, and her ears are now in their final position, although they’re still standing out from her head a bit. A protective covering of myelin is beginning to form around her nerves, a process that will continue for a year after she’s born. If you’re having a girl, her uterus and fallopian tubes are formed and in place. If you’re having a boy, his genitals are noticeable now, but he may hide them from you during an ultrasound.

How mom’s life’s changing

Hungry? An increase in appetite is pretty common about now. Make it count by choosing meals and snacks that are rich in nutrients instead of empty calories (chips, French fries, candy, and other sweets). Bigger, more comfortable clothes are a must now as your appetite and waistline grow.

Your cardiovascular system is undergoing dramatic changes, and during this trimester your blood pressure will probably be lower than usual. Don’t spring up too fast from a lying or sitting position or you might feel a little dizzy.

From now on, when you do lie down, it’s best to lie on your side — or at least partly tilted to one side. (When you lie flat on your back, your uterus can compress a major vein, leading to decreased blood return to your heart.) Try placing a pillow behind you or under your hip or upper leg for comfort.

If you haven’t already had a second-trimester ultrasound, you’ll probably have one soon. This painless procedure helps your practitioner check how your baby’s growing, screen for certain birth defects, check the placenta and umbilical cord, determine whether the due date you’re working with is accurate, and see how many babies you’re carrying. During the exam, you might see your baby moving around or sucking his thumb.

How Far Along?

18 weeks !   Only 21 more to go 🙂

How Big Is The Little One?

She is the size of a bell pepper !

Total Weight Gain / Loss?

My weight stayed the same this week.  I have lost a total of 20 pounds since February 1st.

Maternity Clothes?

I still have no noticeable bump so I wear my running leggings, my regular skinny jeans (which are still sliding off me) and a pair of maternity leggings I bought.  My maternity pants are too big right now.


I am having terrible insomnia.  I wake up and then stay up for hours.  I can not get comfortable so I move to the couch and then later go back to bed about 4 am.

Best Moment of the Week?

I ended up catching a stomach bug from my niece, who gave it to the entire house one person at a time.  I only felt bloated and was very nauseous.  My mom, sister, and my other niece got the whole virus.  I tend to stay to myself in the basement so I only walked through the upstairs family room over the weekend.  My mom sat up there with my nieces and the rest of the family so she was very , very sick for three days. I did not eat for two days because I could not hold anything down.  I was just grateful NOT to have it coming out of the other end LOL.  I will take vomiting over that any day of the week !

The best part of my week was receiving a surprise package from my sister girl in Canada for my baby girl !!!  She sent the most beautiful white blanket and these adorable booties with African animals on them.



Food Cravings?


Food Aversions?

Salty and sweet foods are my aversions still.   Oh how I miss brownies and cake ! Even Chick Fil A is way too salty for me to eat now.  I cringe with one bite !


Girl !

Labor Signs?

None !

What I Miss?

An occasional glass of Moscato

What I Am Looking Forward To?

Holding my daughter in my arms in 21 weeks.


Nope… still a little pooch.  #waiting

Navel In/Out?


Baby or Mommy Purchases?

This week, I ordered Burts Bees organic cotton burp clothes and a designer birthing gown with matching bright colored pillow case.