Fertility benefits foster a culture of inclusion and support

Employees tend to stay longer in companies that offer fertility benefits

Fertility benefits foster a culture of inclusion and support

Fertility affects around 17.5% of people all over the world, according to a report by Forbes. The impact it has on an individual is not only limited to their physical health but also their psychological state and performance at work.

In an article by the United Nations, Dr. Pascale Allotey, the World Health Organization’s director of sexual and reproductive health and research, said that there are millions of people who face high costs of treatment for infertility.

In an article by MedCity, Ann Gaines, senior vice-president of business development at Progyny, a fertility benefits management company, said that since employers often offer a “dollar cap” to benefits they provide, fertility coverage for employees have a limit that is inherently inequitable. This is because different populations have different needs.

With diagnosis and treatment for infertility are often underfunded, people often have no choice but to pay out of their own pocket.

“Over the last three years as CEO of a fertility clinic, I've encountered thousands of patients who came to us without fertility insurance coverage. Those cases are not outliers, but a typical reality for many Americans,” said Jake Diner, CEO of Fertility Cloud, an at-home fertility clinic.

64% out of 600 HR benefit decision-makers and 1,100 full-time employees have missed out on work due to their fertility and family health needs, research by Maven Clinic showed.

“As business leaders, it is our responsibility to foster a culture of inclusion and support, and this can include addressing the often overlooked issue of infertility,” said Diner.

Diner provided a few ways employers can properly and effectively give support to their employees who are dealing with infertility. One of them involves insurance coverage for infertility treatments because most insurance plans do not cover treatments such as in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and intrauterine insemination (IUI).

Another suggestion Diner had was to provide flexible working hours since infertility treatments usually require people to have regular medical appointments. Flexible work hours or even providing employees with the option to work remotely can help them balance out their responsibilities with their medical needs. Paid leave for medical procedures is also beneficial to employees in addition to this.

Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) can also help give further support to those with infertility issues through counseling and mental health support. With the emotional strain that comes with infertility, it is important for employees struggling with this to be aptly supported.

Programs that aim to educate employees regarding misconceptions and stigma surrounding infertility can help those who are dealing with such issues to feel much more welcome and supported. It can help managers and co-workers empathize with those with fertility issues and understand the challenges that come with it.

“Through implementing thoughtful policies and providing resources to those dealing with infertility, we can support employees in a challenging time and also help create a stronger, more empathetic and, ultimately, more productive work environment,” said Diner.