By: Nic Hayes
The past few years have changed the world in a way never seen before, especially regarding what people value. In turn, this has shaped what people are seeking from their employers. The pandemic forced people to retreat to their homes and be with those closest to them, shifting perspectives and placing a greater importance on the role of family and home life. In returning to the workplace, people brought these new perspectives and demands with them looking for more holistic coverage of the challenges that affect their home life, with challenges like family-forming making up a significant portion.
Many people face challenges in creating a family of their own. These challenges can range from infertility to being in the LGBTQ+ community to being single and not having a partner to form a family with. Although we often think of women when it comes to family-forming challenges, both men and women can experience fertility challenges and the resulting mental impacts. For example, a BMC Women’s Health study found that 76% of women experiencing infertility suffer from anxiety and 56% experience depression. The same study found that 61% of men experiencing infertility experience anxiety and 32% suffer from depression.
Not only do these challenges take a toll on the mental health of both men and women, but it also negatively impacts their performance as employees, especially engagement and productivity. Dr. Adamson states, “Studies show that employees are less productive when struggling with infertility, but also that fertility benefits result in greater loyalty to their employer and higher retention.”
Infertility is not uncommon; however, due to the stigma around the issue, those affected rarely speak about it. Making matters worse, less than 1 in 4 people in the U.S. get the needed treatment for their challenges, and for marginalized communities, access to care is even worse. So few people can get the treatment they need primarily because of inadequate or limited fertility benefit coverage and cost.
Fertility benefits are now among the top five most in-demand benefits.
For employers, who have increased pressure to recruit and retain top talent, this is a trend they cannot ignore as more and more these benefits impact where people decide to pursue employment. 70% of millennials and 90% of those who experience infertility said they would change jobs to acquire fertility benefits. Additionally, 61% of employees who received fertility benefits reported increased loyalty and commitment to their employer. This is why long-established direct-to-consumer programs from industry leaders like ARC Fertility are now becoming a mainstay among employer-sponsored health plans.
Naturally, many employers may be hesitant to provide these benefits because of the perceived costs that come with it, but 97% of employers responding to a national survey said that adding infertility coverage did not significantly increase their medical plan costs. Dr. Adamson added, “Research shows that fertility benefits decrease some healthcare costs by reducing inefficient and wasteful fertility care delivered by miscoding in the general medical plan, and even more importantly, reduce the maternity and NICU costs because fertility benefits multiple gestation rates.”
The writing on the wall is clear: employees want these benefits, seek them out in potential employers, and minimal costs are associated with adding family-forming benefits. So as an employer, the only question left is how do you find the right family-forming partner?
A Holistic Approach
A holistic program must provide support throughout the fertility journey from pre-conception care to prevention of infertility and natural conception to avoid medical expenses, support through all family-forming options, pregnancy and postpartum support, and back-to-work programs.
A Network of the Highest Quality Physicians
A family-forming benefits partner should feature a vetted network of high-quality physicians and providers who deliver evidence-based care with superior outcomes and offer discounted individualized bundled treatment packages that provide only necessary and proven services. Through this innovative program design, employees can receive cost-effective care that results from significant savings through earlier successful outcomes and avoidance of complications.
A Flexible Program Structure
The best choice is a family-forming partner who offers different, unique solutions to provide the best coverage for those in the plan and make their benefit package more cost-effective. Innovative programs, like ARC Fertility, have program features such as a minimal access fee and an employer-chosen benefit subsidy amount that is only paid when used. Additionally, they can be flexible in their program and offerings, provide consultation on plan design, and easily coordinate with your general health plan. For employees, ARC uniquely offers a direct-to-consumer lending program as well that can provide additional funds if the employer subsidy does not meet the employee’s financial needs.
These benefits matter to your plan members, so they should matter to you as a leader in the benefits industry. Implementing a comprehensive family-forming benefits plan plays a major role in member well-being and engagement and the recruitment and retention of top talent.
Ready to provide an unparalleled support system to your employees? Check out ARC Fertility's website to get started today.
We are proud to feature ARC Fertility on The Granite List.