Walmart expands fertility options for U.S. employees

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Retail giant Walmart announced Tuesday that it is partnering with family-building startup Kindbody to provide U.S. associates with greater access to fertility options and other services as part of its insurance plan.

The company said in a press release that the new deal grants employees access to more than 30 Kindbody clinics across the country, including a state-of-the-art clinic and in vitro fertilization lab in its home state of Arkansas, set to open later this year.

Walmart announced Tuesday it is expanding access to fertility care for U.S. associates. (Photo by: Jeffrey Greenberg/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images / Getty Images)

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"Providing access to high-quality health care is very important to us, and we’ve heard from our associates that improved access to fertility, surrogacy and adoption support is a priority for them and their families," said Kim Lupo, senior vice president, Walmart Global Total Rewards. "Through Kindbody, Walmart associates in every corner of the country will have access to a variety of services to aid in their family-planning journey."

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The Kindbody clinics will also assist with surrogacy and adoption services, for which Walmart associates can receive up to $20,000 in financial support.

An employee arranges merchandise at a Walmart Inc. store in Secaucus, New Jersey. (Photographer: Timothy Fadek/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

Walmart, the nation's largest private employer and the largest retailer, is providing the family-planning benefits through its self-insured medical plan as part of the company's new Center of Excellence (COE) program that offers employees access to specialized medical care. The COE program offers workers treatment for several serious conditions, such as cancer or major surgeries. 

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The move comes as employers across the country ramp up benefits to retain and attract workers in a tight labor market. Fertility and adoption benefits can be a significant draw for families in need of the services, which are costly and can amount to tens of thousands of dollars.

The lobby of a Kindbody clinic. (Kindbody)

"We’re incredibly honored to become a Walmart Center of Excellence and provide high-quality care to Walmart associates, furthering our mission to make fertility and family-building care affordable and accessible for all," said Gina Bartasi, founder and chairwoman of Kindbody. "Our partnership with Walmart signals that fertility benefits have joined medical, dental, and vision as standard workplace benefits for leading employers."

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Walmart's announcement comes a little more than a month after the company expanded coverage for abortion services to its U.S. workers, joining several other employers in broadening its health care plans after Roe v. Wade was overturned earlier in the summer.

FOX Business' Aislinn Murphy and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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