Should Your Company Offer Fertility Benefits in 2021?

In a recent survey, 88 percent of respondents indicated that they would leave their current company and join another if that competing firm offered fertility or “family forming” benefits. Similarly, 77 percent of respondents indicated that they would stay at their job if this type of benefit was offered, making it a compelling benefit offering for both recruitment and retention.

Now, in all fairness, this survey was conducted by Carrot Fertility in collaboration with RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, so one could infer that they are asking a group of respondents who they have contact with and thus have experience with the emotional rollercoaster and financial implications associated with infertility. For those not in the loop, in-vitro fertilization (IVF) averages $23,000 per cycle in the US, but that doesn’t include the cost of medications (which typically will run you an additional $3,000 to $5,000) and only a small portion (if any) of these treatments are covered under traditional insurance offerings. It should also be noted that this is a per-cycle cost, and many families require several cycles before they get a baby in their arms. Similarly, we always think of adoption as simply opening your door to the countless children that are looking for their forever home, but in reality, legal fees and other costs make adoption a $50,000 to $60,000 endeavor (depending on your geographical location and the complexities of the case). Beyond the financial burden, Carrot notes that fertility treatment can also prove taxing from a time aspect, with many employees needing to take up to 15 days over an 18-month period to allow for treatments.

In a 2019 Forbes article, it was noted that 400 US companies have policies in place to cover the cost of IVF. Could your company be next?

Well, turns out, 2021 might just be the year for you! You see, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts are a real hot-button issue for HR – and a key part of this plan involves offering inclusive benefits. You see, fertility benefits can actually impact many employees, including LGBTQ+ individuals and couples, making it prime for inclusion in your next benefit offering. In fact, a Willis Tower Watson survey suggests that 71 percent of companies are looking into adding fertility benefits to support their business’s DEI objectives and 58 percent said it could be viewed as discriminatory to not offer fertility benefits by 2025. “Employers are recognizing that infertility is a medical condition and when you’ve made a deal with your employees to provide financial support and insurance around their medical conditions, excluding fertility is just not the right thing to do,” notes David Schlanger, CEO of Progyny, a fertility benefit company that negotiates contracts for fertility treatments and provides access to a network of fertility specialists for large, self-insured companies.

Further, after the number that 2020 did on just about everyone’s mental health, companies are increasingly viewing offering fertility benefits as a way to lend support to their still frazzled employees and potentially lessen their emotional burden. Moreover, by providing this employee-centered benefit, it shows you support your worker’s physical, financial, and emotional well-being, both on and off the clock.