Family planning can be an emotionally fraught process. And with more and more families planning for families later in life and at an older age, couples may have more trouble trying to conceive. Add to the fact that some same-sex families or single parents may not have the means to conceive on their own, and the imperative to add fertility benefits is more critical than ever.
While employer coverage of fertility benefits has increased over the years, from covering IVF to egg freezing, more can be done to support aspiring families throughout their journey. Here are three reasons why employers should add fertility benefits to their employee health plan.
For couples and people that need extra support with building their families, finding a company with fertility benefits can be a key differentiator when they’re searching for a new role. 62% of employers offered infertility coverage to attract and retain talent. These efforts worked: Turnover was lower for large companies that offered IVF compared to employers that didn’t.
Investing in an employee means investing in their future. If you want your employees to thrive, you need to nurture and invest in their future and wellbeing. This means family planning, pregnancy support, and returning to work after children. Providing comprehensive care goes a long way in making employees feel valued – and if their needs are cared for, they can put more energy into work and stay where they are.
About one in five heterosexual women ages 15 to 49 struggle to get pregnant after one year of trying, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For LGBTQ+ families, 63% plan to use assisted reproductive technology, foster care, or adoption to start their families.
Most people that undergo IVF pay for it out-of-pocket. As recently as 2018, 80% of IVF patients had little to no coverage. With prices ranging anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000, IVF remains out of reach for those that don’t have the means to afford it. And in the cases where infertility is covered, LGBTQ+ families may not qualify for benefits, not meeting the traditional criteria for it.
In a survey on fertility benefits, 97% of companies surveyed said that providing fertility coverage didn’t substantially increase their medical plan costs. Yet when people pay out-of-pocket for IVF, they typically try to cut costs where they can – often transferring more than one fertilized embryo over (there’s a reason why twins are more common!)
U.S. businesses spend $5.7 billion on complicated births. Employers spend 12 times as much for premature or low-weight babies (a risk with multiple births) than births without complications! A study showed that insurance coverage limited the amount of embryo transfer at a time, with implications for less multiple births and healthier babies – saving both the employer and member money. Taking a more proactive approach can save the money you’d spent post-birth on any complications that could have been prevented.
To care for your employees, adding fertility benefits is a great way to make them feel invested in, valued, and supported.