Glow First in a non-profit program that helps make infertility treatment more affordable by providing a way for healthy couples to share their collective risk - some have described it as “crowdfunding for babies”.
We created Glow First because we feel passionately that infertility treatments should never be categorized as “elective”. As any couple who has ever struggled to conceive knows, fertility treatments are anything but optional.
As of present, only 15 states have passed laws requiring that insurance policies cover some level of infertility treatment. For those who do not live in those states - and even for many who do - the cost of infertility treatments can be crippling. A single assisted reproductive technology cycle can cost up to 50 percent of an individual’s annual disposable income. Now, with the launch of Glow First, women just starting on their fertility journey will have a way of mitigating the cost of some of these procedures, should they ever need them.
Glow First is very simple: Healthy women who are just starting out on their fertility journey apply to the program. If accepted, they contribute $50 a month for 10 months into the fund. (If at any time, they become pregnant, their payments stop.) By agreeing to join the fund, they are also agreeing to maintain an active status in the Glow app, which invites users to track fertility-related signals. Their payments will enter a pool along with payments from other women who signed up at the same time. Hopefully, many of these women will conceive naturally within the 10 month time frame. When they do, their monetary contributions will count as donations to the pool. After 10 months, the pool will be split among any remaining women who aren’t yet pregnant to be used toward medical treatment.
No cash ever exchanges hands. Glow First will cut a check to the woman’s fertility clinic once they submit proof of initial screening. Not only does Glow never take a dime from the fund, but one of our founders, Max Levchin, has seeded the fund with $1 million of his own money.
We started Glow to solve difficult problems. Our aim is to make Glow First our initial foray into this challenging field. With the knowledge we gain, we hope to create financial solutions for infertility that do not exist today.
We would like to warmly welcome the many women and couples who are part of this pilot program, Glow First’s October 2013 cohort. We are thrilled they have chosen to partner with Glow during this exciting journey, and look forward to sharing the next 10 months with them. Together, we feel we will be able to revolutionize conception, one tiny miracle at a time.