In our fast-paced society, nearly anything is subject to change on a rapid-fire basis. From the products we use to the technology we depend on, innovation is everywhere – including the way we build our families. The age-old concept of family has evolved drastically, and will continue to do so in ways we may not even be able to picture just yet.
Companies put endless time and effort into staying ahead of innovations to progress their goals to the fullest extent. Focusing on the evolution of family-building benefits is a must for those who want to remain competitive in the labor market and save on health care costs for years to come.
Changing Demographics, Values and Needs
The definition of a family has expanded over the last several decades. Throughout time “family” described a social group that was related by blood, such as a mother, father, and their children and other kin. Although adoption was practiced as far back as the Roman Empire, its major purpose was to insure inheritance of property. Adoption was not protected by law in the United States until 1851, when Massachusetts implemented a statute that recognized adoption as a social and legal institution based on the child’s welfare.
Today, a family is also widely accepted as a social institution based on kinship, adoption, chosen family without genetic ties, and as a legal institution with laws varying from state to state. Parents come in all backgrounds, genders, and sexual orientations, with some being single parents by choice. It’s estimated that 29% of LGBTQIA+ people are raising a child under 18 years of age, and nearly 200,000 children are being raised by two same-sex parents. A recent survey found that 63 percent of LGBTQIA+ people planning families expect to use assisted reproductive technology, adoption or fostering to become parents, which is a significant shift from earlier generations of LGBTQIA+ parents whose children were conceived by intercourse. WIN is especially equipped to support this demand through benefits designed with inclusivity in mind, providing comprehensive resources for adoption and surrogacy, as well as ensuring inclusive access to fertility treatments necessary for LGBTQIA+ people to build their families.
Gen Z are expected to make up 27% of the workforce by 2025. Their values and expectations around family-building will likely be driven by their expectations of diversity and inclusion in the workplace and in society. Millennials are now in their peak reproductive years, but older millennials will be in their early 40s by 2025. They have postponed marriage and child-bearing more than any previous generation according to a study by Pew Research Center, perhaps driven by heavy levels of debt for education. Millennials may be more likely to need family-building benefits because they have waited to start a family.
WIN is able to support all these populations by matching members to inclusive and diverse providers who are experts in reproductive technologies, supporting members through their fertility journey to optimize outcomes, while enabling better access and financing for adoption and surrogacy. WIN helps employers offer the family-building benefits their employees want while advocating for the best outcomes in a cost-effective manner.
Advancements in Technology and Treatment
Rapid advancements in medicine and technology continue to make fertility treatment more effective and accessible. In recent years, one of the greatest developments in fertility treatment has been the increased use of elective single embryo transfer, or eSET, during IVF. Previously, a multiple embryo transfer was standard practice, in which no fewer than two or three embryos were used during IVF depending on the patient’s age and medical history. However, this would increase the odds of having twins or triplets, resulting in higher health risks for the mother and babies, as well as higher health care costs for employers. Since eSET involves the transfer of only one embryo, these risks (and costs) are reduced significantly while maintaining comparable success rates to multiple embryo transfers.
Additionally, egg freezing is no longer considered an experimental treatment, and genetic testing of embryos has improved in accuracy while becoming more affordable. These and other innovative treatments have become standard in recent years, while new developments are constantly being discovered. Several treatments are currently being researched and tested around the world, including the use of stem cells to create lab-grown eggs and sperm, mitochondrial transfers to eliminate certain genetic diseases, and the nearing reality of human genome editing.
With new standards being defined by rapid advancements, how can employers know which innovations are clinically acceptable? WIN’s Medical Advisory Board is comprised of the top practicing Reproductive Endocrinologists and ensures adherence to the latest clinical protocols, maintaining the highest quality, most advanced care to deliver the best outcomes. WIN supports both employers and employees to ensure treatments are as safe and effective as possible, all while reducing health care costs.
WIN is mission-driven to continuously improve access to family-building benefits for employers and employees. Everything we do is focused on helping people build the families they deeply desire, while providing better outcomes for employees and reducing costs for employers. We possess the tools, technology, resources and solutions to keep employers ahead of the curve of demand while best serving their employees in an evolving landscape.
Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to get ahead – and stay ahead – with WIN.