Open Enrollment: What to Look for in Family Building Benefits This Year

It’s open enrollment, a period of time when companies share the benefits package they are offering to employees for the coming year and the choices employees have.

If you are trying to conceive or considering that you may need help starting a family next year, look for these family building benefits in the package your company is providing.

  • IUI—Does your health insurance and/or fertility benefits cover intrauterine insemination? Does the plan require a certain number of attempts at IUI before you can move on to IVF?
  • IVF—Does your plan cover IVF treatment? What is the maximum dollar amount it will cover?  How many IVF cycles?
  • Donor egg—Is egg donation covered?
  • Donor sperm—Lesbian couples and some heterosexual couples will need donor sperm to conceive. Does your plan pay for that?
  • Gestational surrogacy—Is the use of a gestational surrogate to carry the baby covered by the plan? This is especially important for male same-sex couples who want to have a genetic child, as well as women who are unable to carry a baby to term.
  • Fertility medications—These medications are essential to IVF treatment and can run from $2,000 – $10,000 per IVF cycle. Does your plan include them?
  • Office visits and lab tests—These may be covered by your plan, even if it does not include IVF treatment.
  • Adoption—What if fertility treatment doesn’t work for you, or you decide not to pursue it, but you still want a family? Adoption can be a good answer for many people who can open their homes and their hearts to a child.  Does your plan cover adoption costs?
  • Managed benefits—Managed family building benefits include a nurse manager who helps you navigate through fertility treatment, choosing the most effective options. Does your plan offer this?
  • Inclusive benefits—Does your company support the family building needs of LGBTQ+ employees? What they can offer may be affected by your state’s laws, which vary widely from state to state.

More and more companies provide family building benefits as part of their benefits packages.  According to FertilityIQ, more than 400 companies offer some kind of fertility benefits.

What if your employer doesn’t offer family building benefits?  You can raise the need for these benefits with your H.R. department.  They may not know that employees want and need this type of coverage.  Some benefits managers have misconceptions about how family building benefits affect insurance costs.  Find out if other employees are interested—that will strengthen your case.  RESOLVE, the National Fertility Association, has resources to help you ask for coverage of fertility benefits.