As per World Bank data, since the COVID-19 outbreak, female employment in India has dropped down by 9% in 2022. Of the multiple reasons, an alarming concern is stress among working women. As the stress of work increases, its impact on women’s sexual health goes remarkably high, with disorders like Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), Endometriosis, etc. leading to infertility among working women. This makes the need for structural change urgent.
As per the recent Union Budget statistics, women’s employability is at 51.44%. While corporates are adopting multiple measures to nurture and encourage female employment with an increase in maternity coverage, menstrual leaves, etc., employee health insurance platform Plum urges corporates to include In vitro fertilisation (IVF) coverage under their group health insurance policies.
- 52% of women surveyed say they struggle to manage health with work
- 20%, or one in five women in India, have PCOS.
- IVF treatment is expensive and not covered under corporates’ group insurance policy
Abhishek Poddar, CEO and Co-Founder, of Plum says, "For the longest time, infertility did not come under the purview of insurance. It is now time for women's sexual health to receive the attention it deserves. As companies embark on this endeavour, it is important to remember that this change will require full commitment. At Plum, we have incorporated covers like infertility and surrogacy as well. "
Several companies, such as Meesho, Darwinbox, and Epifi, offer group coverage for IVF. Health plans offered by renowned brands like Google and Flipkart also cover IVF.
Kriti Rastogi, Director, Plum, says, "Today, an IVF treatment costs around Rs. 1.5 lakhs, laparoscopy around Rs. 75,000, and a hysterectomy costs anywhere from Rs 1.32 lakh to Rs. 2.75 lakh. However, most companies in India do not cover these treatments under their Group Health Insurance (GHIs).
“Companies should look at an ideal cover with no restrictions on any procedures, no exclusion of treatments. Under a comprehensive policy, no treatment, even if considered elective, will be rejected," added Rastogi.