Fertility benefits still inaccessible to many employees

Survey reveals that 63% of HR respondents expect an increase in family health benefits offered by businesses

Fertility benefits still inaccessible to many employees

Employees have a hard time accessing the assistance they need when it comes to fertility concerns even if there have been moves surrounding fertility benefits and support, as reported in an article by Employee Benefit News.

The inaccessibility to such benefits has prompted employees to make difficult decisions concerning their fertility health.

From a survey by healthcare platform Carrot Fertility, 29% have said that they would need to subject themselves under a large amount of debt in order to be able to pay for their fertility treatments. 39% have said that they would need to use some of their savings while almost half of the respondents considered taking another job just so they would be able to afford treatment.

In a recent study by the World Health Organization (WHO), 17.5% of the adult population around the world were affected by fertility issues, there is a visible need to address such disparities concerning fertility benefits.

“The sheer proportion of people affected show the need to widen access to fertility care and ensure this issue is no longer sidelined in health research and policy, so that safe, effective, and affordable ways to attain parenthood are available for those who seek it,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general at WHO.

Fertility benefits in the workplace

A study by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans found that less than half of organizations in the US provided fertility benefits in the benefits packages they gave their employees for 2023.

While a study conducted by Maven, a virtual healthcare platform, found that 63% of HR respondents expected to see an increase in family health benefits offered to employees in the next few years, employees who would need support now are left with lesser and more expensive options.

“There is simply a business imperative to offer family-building benefits,” said Shelly MacConnell, chief strategy officer at WIN, a fertility benefit management company.

“We see that through the people that are moving jobs in order to have access to the benefits, or those that are taking on additional jobs in order to have access to benefits when their primary work does not provide it,” she added.

MacConnell further explained that unless fertility benefits are much more commonly offered by organizations, employees will be inclined to continue switching jobs as well as simultaneously take on another job just to afford their fertility treatments.

With part-time employers such as Amazon and Starbucks offering family-building benefits, full-time employees may be more inclined to give themselves more work for the sake of getting their much-needed support.

“I expect a continued increase in the number of employers that offer these benefits, an enhanced richness of the benefits provided and an expansion of the population eligible for the benefits,” said MacConnell.

“It has happened, and I expect it to continue happening until ultimately these benefits are entirely the norm,” she added.