Two-fifths (40 per cent) of U.S. organizations currently offer fertility benefits, up from 30 per cent in 2020, according to a survey by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans.
The survey, which examined benchmarking data from more than 500 U.S. employers, also found 28 per cent of respondents said they cover fertility medications, up from 24 per cent in 2020 and a significant increase from the 14 per cent that said they covered these drugs in 2018 and eight per cent that said the same in 2016.
“Fertility services are a highly valued benefit for employees, often with a low cost impact for employers,” said Julie Stich, vice-president of content at the IFEBP, in a press release. “Employees who have access to fertility benefits can actually have overall lower health-care costs because they are making decisions with their doctors based on medical best practice, not on personal financial concerns.”
A similar percentage (30 per cent) said they cover in vitro fertilization treatments, compared to 24 per cent in 2020, 17 per cent in 2018 and 13 per cent in 2016. In addition, 16 per cent of employers said they cover genetic testing to determine infertility issues, up from 12 per cent in 2020 and 11 per cent in 2018. And 17 per cent said they cover non-IVF fertility treatments, compared to 11 per cent in 2020 and 2018 and six per cent in 2016.
The survey also found employers are increasingly covering egg harvesting and freezing services. In 2016, just two per cent of organizations covered these services, but it increased to six per cent in 2018, 10 per cent in 2020 and 14 per cent in 2022.
“Fertility clinics reported that egg harvesting and freezing happened more than usual over the [coronavirus] pandemic because women were putting off having babies during the uncertainties,” said Stich. “We’re now continuing to see a steady increase in family-forming benefits because of its high value by talent no matter their gender identity or relationship status. Providing these benefits helps nurture overall happiness and well-being.”
Indeed, employers that offer fertility benefits to all employees, including LGBTQ2S+ and single prospective parents, are demonstrating their efforts to create more inclusive workplaces, she said, noting paid/unpaid leave and financial assistance for employees looking to adopt are other benefits offerings trending upwards over the past few years.