Did you know that in 2017 the American Medical Association and the World Health Organization recognized infertility as a disease? Approximately 17.5% – roughly one in six couples– are affected by infertility in the U.S.
As societal norms and employee expectations continue to evolve, companies are recognizing the importance of offering comprehensive benefits packages that cater to the needs of their workforce. One area that has gained attention in recent years is fertility benefits. Here’s an overview of emerging fertility benefits and their significance:
- Fertility Treatments Coverage: Fertility treatments, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) or intrauterine insemination (IUI), can be expensive and may not be covered by traditional health insurance plans. Fertility treatment coverage can help employees overcome financial barriers and access the fertility treatments they need to start or expand their families.
- Egg Freezing: Egg freezing allows individuals to preserve their eggs for future use. This can be particularly beneficial for employees who want to delay starting a family due to personal or professional reasons.
- Fertility Preservation: Some medical treatments, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy, can have a negative impact on fertility. Fertility preservation options, such as freezing embryos or sperm freezing, can help individuals protect their fertility before undergoing such treatments.
- Adoption Assistance: In addition to fertility treatments, companies are expanding their benefits to include adoption assistance programs. These programs can provide financial support, counseling services, and resources to employees who are going through the adoption process. By offering adoption assistance, employers show their commitment to supporting various pathways to parenthood and promoting inclusivity.
- Fertility Education and Support: Many employers are going beyond financial coverage and offering educational resources and support for employees navigating fertility challenges. This can include access to fertility experts, educational seminars, counseling services, and fertility wellness programs.
Since fertility coverage is relatively new, fertility benefits can vary greatly. However, essentially there are two options for coverage:
- Cover specific treatments under their health plan
- Offer to pay a portion of treatment costs as a voluntary benefit
Employee expectations around benefits and workplace support have evolved in step with the growing desire for fertility and family-forming benefits. By offering emerging fertility benefits, employers demonstrate their commitment to supporting employees’ family-building journeys and recognizing the diverse needs of their workforce. These benefits can enhance employee satisfaction, improve work-life balance, and contribute to a more supportive workplace culture.