Large Employers Court Would-Be Parents With Fertility Benefits

Large Employers Court Would-Be Parents With Fertility Benefits

Many large enterprises are now offering fertility services as part of their benefits packages in an effort to appeal to employees who want to start families, SHRM’s Stephen Miller reports:

A recent study by the nonprofit International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP) in Brookfield, Wis., shows that among large employers (those with 500 or more employees):

  • Nearly a quarter (24 percent) now offer fertility services as part of their health care benefits.
  • 19 percent cover in-vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments.
  • 12 percent cover fertility medications.
  • 9 percent cover non-IVF fertility treatments.

Smaller numbers cover visits with counselors (genetic, surrogacy, etc.), at 6 percent, or egg harvesting/freezing services, at 4 percent. … Fertility services are more common among employers that have at least 500 employees … Only 4 percent of employers with fewer than 50 employees offer fertility services. Employers with a self-funded health plan are also more likely to offer fertility services than those with insured plans.

These findings, Miller adds, are consistent with SHRM’s own benefits data. Fertility benefits may be an effective way to send a family-friendly signal to employees and prospective employees, especially if coupled with generous parental leave and flexible work offerings for parents. However, as we’ve discussed before, employer-sponsored fertility programs can raise ethical concerns about employee privacy, especially when these programs involve apps that collect data about users’ fertility and share it with their employers.