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FERTILITY AND COMPANY BENEFITS

Fertility at work

Should you invest in your employees’ fertility healthcare? This is a question that more companies are asking as they attempt to hire and retain the best talent in their industries.

Fertility healthcare at work

Many forward thinking companies are offering fertility benefits

Savvy companies are always looking for new ways to set themselves apart from the competition and attract the top talent. Gym memberships, lucrative bonuses, nutritious meal packages, ride share schemes – all of these (and more) are on offer at the so-called ‘best companies to work for.’

However, more companies are taking their offer to the next level by providing health benefits not currently on the NHS (UK) or covered by private insurance. While some people across the UK are eligible for 1 – 3 cycles of NHS-funded IVF, fertility treatment coverage varies wildly based on your location. As a result, insurance companies are increasingly recognising this new opportunity. By providing fertility benefits to employees, they can attract the best candidates and demonstrate their commitment to their employees’ health and wellbeing.

If you’re considering offering fertility benefits to your employees, read ahead.

What are Employer fertility benefits?

Employers are recognizing that inferitlity is a medical condition

Many private insurance companies offer additional coverage for fertility treatments that allow your employees to obtain the vital reproductive healthcare they need to start or grow their families.

The most basic (and cheapest) policies come with hefty associated costs and often lack support and customer service. Trying to qualify for and access the coverage can often feel like jumping through a series of hoops. What was originally designed to be a beacon of hope for infertile couples and/or individuals can soon leave patients feeling emotionally drained and financially stressed,

However, more insurance companies are recognising these shortfalls and offering more comprehensive packages to eager employers to pass on to their staff. Some newer companies, such as Progyny in the US, now focus solely on fertility benefits.

David Schlanger, Progyny’s CEO, is optimistic that more companies will soon follow suit. “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.”

Employee fertility benefits are more important than ever

Millions of people around the world are struggling to start or grow their families. According to the NHS, up to 1 in 7 couples has trouble conceiving. While infertility used to be a silent struggle, more people are speaking out about their struggles to have a baby.

A recent Fertility Network UK/Middlesex University study found that “50% of women did not disclose their treatment to their employer out of fear that the employer wouldn’t take them seriously and over 40% due to concerns about its negative effects on their career prospects.” The problem is increasingly visible as more women focus on their careers and wait to start their families until later in life. Additionally, more single people and same-sex couples are also choosing to start families, and fertility treatments are more common than at any time in history.

Infertility has many deep psychological impacts, including depression, trauma, grief, and anxiety, all of which can have long-lasting consequences and affect employee performance. Fertility treatments, while not always successful, give those suffering with infertility a sense of hope and a chance at becoming parents.

However, most companies in the US, Canada, UK, and Australia do not offer insurance coverage for fertility treatments. According to a recent study by Fertility IQ, 400 major American companies offer some coverage for fertility treatments. That said, most IVF patients in 2018 (71%) paid for most of their IVF treatments on their own, covering the costs with a combination of credit cards, loans, savings, and even fundraising on crowdfunding platforms.

Why offer fertility benefits?

So, why offer fertility benefits? Simply put, it can help you attract and retain the best and brightest in your industry. It’s a job-seeker’s market right now, with employee shortages causing thriving businesses to limit operations and even close completely. Anything you can do to boost your profile and become more attractive is worth looking into – offering fertility coverage can improve your reputation as an employer.

The stress and grief of infertility can heavily impact even the most conscientious employee’s performance at work. Many employees are nervous to talk about the struggles and fear that their reputations and perceptions of their work will be negatively impacted.

Offering fertility treatments is a stellar way for employers to not only mitigate employee stress and encourage peak performance but also to demonstrate their inclusivity and compassion. As more people deal with this painful condition, employers can help relieve their burden and improve employees’ quality of life.

Fertility coverage can be the deciding factor as a strong new candidate chooses between you and your competitor. These desirable benefits also generate loyalty from employees who will be far more willing to stay with your firm for the duration of their careers. The same Fertility IQ study shows that 62% of employees with IVF coverage are more likely to remain with their company for longer. Encouragingly, 22% said that they would work harder for such a firm.

So why should you offer family friendly benefits and infertility cover age to your employees?

Well, not only is it a growing trend, it’s simply just the right thing to do to help your team members live happy, healthy, and fulfilled lives. When you support your employees on an emotional and physical level as well as a financial one, you earn their admiration, trust, and loyalty.

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