Employers are now offering a wide variety of family-friendly benefits in an attempt to attract top talent. Due in part to an increasingly competitive job market, more inclusive options are becoming a necessary trend.
An article in Employee Benefit News states that, according to research from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, perks such as fertility services, paid leave and flexible work schedules are gaining popularity. Fertility benefits in particular have been a focus of employers looking to help employees become parents.
“Employers are evolving their healthcare programs to reflect that fertility benefits are becoming more important to many employees, including same-sex couples,” Jeff Levin-Scherz, a Willis Towers Watson researcher, told EBN earlier this year. “The additional coverage is often a win-win proposition. It allows employers to provide a valued employee benefit while improving their ability to attract and retain top talent and support diversity initiatives.”
Nearly one-third (31%) of employers with 500 or more employees offer some sort of fertility benefit, up from 24% in 2016, according to the survey of 677 benefits managers from IFEBP. Smaller employers are less likely to provide fertility benefits, but just like large employers, the numbers are increasing. Of employers with 50 or fewer employees, 10% offer some sort of fertility benefits, up from 4% in 2016.
Here are the six most commonly covered fertility treatments, according to IFEBP research:
Egg Harvesting or Freezing Services (7%): Egg harvesting or freezing services are a less common perk compared to other fertility treatments but the offering is growing in popularity. The expensive benefit is most commonly seen at tech firms, including Apple, Cisco, Facebook, Microsoft and Netflix.
Visits With Counselors (9%): A number of employers offer counseling resources for employees who are struggling with fertility issues.
Genetic Testing to Determine Infertility (15%): Facebook and Cisco are among the employers that offer genetic testing as part of their fertility benefits package.
Fertility Medication (18%): Fertility medications are the second most commonly offered type of fertility benefit. Earlier this year, MassMutual added fertility benefits for its 7,500 full-time and part-time employees, which includes medications. The life insurance company now provides more medical and prescription-drug coverage for fertility, as well as personalized support through partnerships with fertility companies Ovia Health and Progyny.
IVF Treatments (23%): In vitro fertilization treatments are the most common type of fertility benefits offered by employers. Tech companies, startups and other progressive employers are leading the way in this area. Facebook, for instance, provides employees up to four IVF cycles, including genetic testing, with no pre-approval required.
Non-IVF Fertility Treatments: (13%) There are many medications that are used to treat infertility.