IVF and More
The tightening job market has led many employers to offer more inclusive benefits as a means to attract and keep employees. Nearly one-third of employers with 500 or more employees now offer some sort of fertility benefits, according to a survey of 677 employee benefits managers by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans. Smaller companies are less likely to offer coverage, but the percentage with 50 or fewer employees who provide fertility benefits increased from 4 percent in 2016 to 10 percent in 2019.
IVF treatment is the most commonly covered benefit, but there are other means of family-building that employees often need in addition to or instead of IVF. Providing these inclusive benefits supports diversity in the workforce and improves employers’ ability to attract and retain top talent.
Comprehensive Coverage of IVF Treatment
Covering a set number of IVF cycles is the most frequently offered benefit. In order to truly support employees in IVF treatment, coverage for fertility medications and a range of testing are also needed. Fertility medications cost from $2,500 – $10,000 per cycle, and most patients need more than one cycle to get pregnant. The medications are a significant part of the cost of IVF. Flexible scheduling is also supportive of patients in IVF treatment, due to the need for office visits and testing throughout an IVF cycle.
Egg Freezing and Other Fertility Preservation
Several tech companies offer coverage for oocyte cryopreservation, known as egg freezing. Since the age of the egg is the most important factor in having a healthy baby, freezing eggs when a woman is younger allows her to have her own genetic baby later in life. Tech companies do this to attract female talent and keep them in the workforce. Sperm are also affected by aging. A recent study has found that the offspring of men over 40 are much more likely to be born prematurely or to have birth defects and mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder than those of younger men. Freezing sperm while they are in their 20s for use later preserves men’s fertility in their healthiest years. Fertility preservation is also critical for men and women undergoing cancer treatment, which can negatively affect fertility.
For those who want a family but are unsuccessful with or don’t want to undergo fertility treatment, adoption can be a wonderful option. Companies who provide coverage for adoption expenses and parental leave for those who adopt are helping children in need find loving families, and offering an inclusive benefit for family building.
LGBTQ Family Building
Companies who value diversity and inclusion in their workforce address the desire of their LGBTQ employees to have a family by offering inclusive family building benefits. These include IUI with donor sperm and IVF for female same-sex couples, IVF with donor egg and surrogacy for male same-sex couples, and adoption benefits. Providing family building benefits for LGBTQ employees signals your company values and respects them.
Managed Fertility Benefits
Managed benefits give employees the highest level of care and support, while helping employers control cost. Employers that use WIN to manage their fertility benefits see higher pregnancy rates, fewer multiple gestations and hospitalizations, reduced medical and medication costs, and happier, more productive employees.