There’s a growing demand for fertility benefits. Find out about their advantages for your workforce, and why they’re a key hiring and retention tool.
Healthcare has long been the most desired employee benefit, but new services are making their way into employee benefits plans. The new kid on the block? Fertility benefits.
Over half of employers now offer fertility benefits to supplement healthcare coverage and support families within their community. Given the fact that 1 in 8 couples struggle with pregnancy, this isn’t a surprise. This makes this even more appealing for employers alike because 97% of companies found that providing this benefit did not result in a significant cost increase.
In other words, fertility benefits turn often unaffordable procedures into realities for women.
But that isn’t the only reason employer after employer is interested in this employee benefit plan. There are other indirect bonuses that could turn this supplemental benefit into a key talent strategy.
97% of companies found that providing this benefit did not result in a significant cost increase.
What counts as fertility benefits?
Before we dig deep into what fertility coverage can do for businesses, we need to discuss what is potentially included in this benefit. Fertility benefits can include assisted reproductive technology (ART), which itself covers:
- In vitro fertilization (IVF)
- Gestational surrogacy
- Donor eggs
But a fertility benefit can also cover drug therapy, intrauterine insemination (IUI), and other non-ART-related infertility services.
IVF coverage is by far the most common fertility benefit, although egg freezing, counseling, fertility testing, and other smaller infertility services are often available.
Some states also require businesses to provide basic fertility coverage, usually fertility evaluation. Others limit the required coverage to 1 or 2 IVF treatment cycles or exempt HMO plans from providing coverage. Certain infertility services plans also have marital status restrictions, lifetime maximums, or exclude medications.
As with all employee benefit plans, employers have to balance needs with the budget. In 2018, only 31% of employers with over 500 employees invested in fertility benefits. But as turnover rates rise and organizations struggle to hold onto top talent, this number may continue to increase.
Given the cost of employee turnover, choosing to invest in providing fertility services or fertility assistance can pay dividends down the road.
Linking fertility benefits to talent retention
Let’s face it, replacing a single employee is expensive.
According to the Center for American Progress, the exact cost can range from 16% to 213% of an employee’s annual salary, depending on their pay grade and level within the organization. In addition, most employees prefer benefits to higher salaries, if given an option between the two.
With the Great Resignation still in full swing, retaining talent is critical. This is especially true if you consider all the indirect effects of high turnover on a business.
When a company loses an employee, they don’t only spend money to rehire. They also lose knowledge of systems and interrupt the workflow for other employees. New hires need to be trained, which costs time and resources.
But customers suffer, too, as regular turnover affects the quality of work and productivity of the team.
While benefits aren’t everything, employee benefit plans that support families make workers feel valued. Furthermore, it makes expensive procedures and treatments affordable. Offering even basic family planning services to supplement the current health insurance plan can provide employees with peace of mind. And many companies have been able to link fertility benefits to lower turnover.
Those organizations currently offering fertility benefits have seen positive results — outside of young, married couples. Lyft found that investing in family planning and fertility services has helped it to retain diverse staff, including LGBTQIA+ and single parent workers. Other major corporations offering various services include Pinterest, IBM, Nike, and Johnson & Johnson.
As an HR professional, it can help to send out a brief benefits survey to gauge interest in fertility benefits and specific options.
As an HR professional, it can help to send out a brief benefits survey to gauge interest in fertility benefits and specific options. While your organization may or may not be able to afford coverage for every treatment, choosing options that benefit the greatest number of employees can help boost retention.
Plus, you aren’t in it alone. If you are planning to add fertility benefits but need more comprehensive information regarding state regulation or insurance options, RESOLVE offers employer-centric kits to make it easier.
An addendum to healthcare benefits
Dumping money into a health savings account (HSA) or another health insurance account isn’t enough. Mainstream insurance coverage won’t necessarily cover fertility assistance, and for companies that treasure family values, this benefit may be a perfect match for their employees.
To improve their employee benefit plans, companies should consider expanding their insurance cover to include fertility services such as family planning, fertility preservation, IVF treatment, and reproductive medicine.
But, of course, fertility and healthcare benefits are just one piece of the puzzle. Tap into our Future of Benefits guide for more benefits trends.