3 Ways Fertility Benefits Will Give You the Competitive Advantage

Need to Boost Your Bottom-Line? Want a Competitive Advantage in Recruiting and Retaining Talent?

Look no further than your health benefits plan. New studies show that employee benefits are a dynamic tool for employers who want to recruit and retain top-tiered employees, and fertility benefits, specifically, are in high demand. Employers from all market sectors — telecom, tech, retail, professional services and the public sector — are interested in providing fertility benefit plans to recruits and employees. Many companies are recognizing the tremendous emotional and financial impact that infertility is making for young adults today and the related need for more across-the-board fertility solutions for men and women going through this high-stress “life experience.” To get the competitive edge in both recruitment and retention, many employers have done their research and created a broad range of appropriate reproductive benefits devised to do the following:
  1. Attract the most talented recruits
  2. Assist women employees in starting a family
  3. Cultivate an all-encompassing, healthy environment in the workplace

First, Some Fertility Facts

Infertility is a disease recognized by the World Health Organization.[1] In June 2017, infertility was recognized as a disease by the American Medical Association (AMA).[2] Here are the facts:
  • 1 in 8 couples in the US are infertile
  • Average national cost of in vitro fertilization (IVF) is about $23,000 per cycle[3]
  • Cost is a key barrier to medical treatment for infertility and adoption
  • Egg freezing averages about $16,000[4]
  • Infertility affects men and women equally
  • More than 30 percent of people who seek fertility treatment drop out before they start – mostly due to financial reasons
Whatever health benefits you now provide, adding fertility benefits will give you the competitive advantage in three ways:

1) They help to attract and retain the best talent.

Employers looking for a competitive advantage in recruitment and retention of the best employees may consider changing up fertility benefit offerings.[5] With a projected 30 percent ROI, fertility benefits have a powerful impact on talent retention, especially among millennials today who start careers during their peak childbearing years. In fact, recruiting and retaining employees was the reason that one-third of employers said they boosted their benefit packages this year, according to the Society for Human Resource Management’s newly released annual benefits survey. An interesting finding from Aflac showed how employees weighed salary and benefits when considering taking a new job. The study revealed that 59 percent of employees at small businesses said they are at least somewhat likely to accept a job that offers better benefits, even if the salary is less than what they’re making. Almost half of the employees who said they may be looking for a new job in the coming year said improving on their current benefits package could help convince them to stay. Perhaps most remarkable, 38 percent of employees surveyed said improving benefits packages was one thing their employers could do to get them to stay.

2) They assist women employees in starting a family.

Over the past decades, infertility has hit women in a powerful way as they postpone starting a family during the most fertile years, choosing instead higher education and an upwardly mobile career path. But every year women wait to start a family, more problems occur. Data from the American Society for Reproductive Medicine reports that one-third of women trying to conceive after age 35 will have problems getting pregnant, and two-thirds of women over age 40 will not be able to conceive without medical treatment.[6] Also, the rate of women who had their first child between 40 and 44 has more than doubled in the past 20 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But every year a woman waits to start a family, more problems occur, including[7]:
  • She has a smaller number of eggs left
  • Her eggs are not as healthy
  • She is more likely to have health conditions that can cause fertility problems
  • She is more likely to have a miscarriage

3) They help create a healthy, positive workplace.

Did you know that 68 percent of employees would switch jobs if fertility benefits were offered?[8] That’s how essential reproductive benefits are to the workforce today. In fact, findings show that employees with access to fertility benefits are more positive, more loyal and stay with their employer longer.6 It is assumed that infertility coverage may drive meaningful improvements in employee retention and that increases your bottom line. Findings reveal that employees who have access to fertility benefits have lower health care costs as they make decisions with their board-certified physicians based on medical practice—not on personal financial concerns. For example, couples paying for fertility drugs or in vitro fertilization (IVF) on their own may skip recommended genetic screenings that could reveal genetic issues that cause repeated miscarriage, or waive other important fertility tests.[9] Couples paying for IVF may also opt to have multiple embryos transferred to try and improve their chances of pregnancy. This poses a greater risk of multiple births with serious health complications to babies and mothers including low birth weight, disability and increased C-section rates.[10]

Infertility Treatment is Not Elective

Remember, infertility is a treatable disease and the treatment and coverage should not be viewed as “elective.” While there’s progress among large corporations to cover fertility benefits, there is plenty of room for every employer to do their part to help employees who want to start families. Allied Market Research projects by 2020 infertility will be a $21.6 billion global business.[11] The demand for fertility benefits is very clear; and employers can get a competitive advantage by meeting that demand.
[1] Sexual and Reproductive Health. World Health Organization. http://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/topics/infertility/definitions/en/. [Accessed August 3, 2017]. [2] Berg, Sara. AMA backs global health experts in calling infertility a disease. AMA News. June 13, 2017. https://wire.ama-assn.org/ama-news/ama-backs-global-health-experts-calling-infertility-disease. [Accessed August 2, 2017]. [3] Miller, Steven. Fertility Services Distinguish Employers as Family Friendly. Society for Human Resource Management. August 18, 2016. https://www.shrm.org/ resourcesandtools/hr-topics/benefits/pages/fertility-services-family-perks.aspx. [Accessed July 31, 2017]. [4] The Costs of Egg Freezing. FertilityIQ. https://www.fertilityiq.com/egg-freezing/the-costs-of-egg-freezing. [Accessed August 3, 2017]. [5] Butler, Craig. Aflac study: Employee benefits affect recruiting and retention.   October 13, 2015. http://www.winstonbenefits.com/The-Employee-Benefits-Blog/bid/206232/Aflac-Study-Employee-Benefits-Affect-Recruiting-and-Retention. [Accessed August 2, 2017]. [6] ASRM Patient’s Fact Sheet: “Prediction of Fertility Potential in Older Female Patients.” Julie Greenstein, director of government relations, RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association. [Accessed August 1, 2017]. [7] Infertility FAQs. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). https://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/infertility/index.htm. [Accessed August 1, 2017} [8] Richards, Sarah Elizabeth, How Your Job Could Influence Your Chances of IVF Success. Women’s Health Magazine, April 29, 2016. http://www.womenshealthmag. com/mom/ivf-success-rates-by-career [Accessed August 1, 2017]. [9] Cook, Dan. 1 in 4 benefits plans offer infertility benefits. BenefitsPro. August 16, 2016.       http://www.benefitspro.com/2016/08/16/1-in-4-benefits-plans-offer-fertility-services-stu?slreturn=1501780825. [Accessed August 3, 2017]. [10] Egg-Freezing and IVF are Tech’s hottest perks. TATech.com. July 18, 2017. https://tatech.org/egg-freezing-and-ivf-are-techs-hottest-perk/ [11] Male Infertility Market Overview. Allied Market Research. https://www.alliedmarketresearch.com/male-infertility-market. [Accessed August 2, 2017].

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