19 Apr Egg freezing, IVF, and Surrogacy: Fertility Benefits Have Evolved
Egg freezing, IVF and surrogacy: Fertility benefits have evolved to become the ultimate workplace perk.
Employees are increasingly enjoying a full suite of fertility benefits as companies look for new ways to attract top talent and boost their DEI initiatives. Progyny CEO Pete Anevski and Progyny member Priya spoke with CNBC about this necessary benefit.
Since the mid-2010s, novel perks were almost exclusively limited to Silicon Valley trailblazers like Facebook and Apple. In 2015, just over one-third (36%) of large companies offered IVF and only 6% covered egg freezing.
The Trailblazers of Fertility Benefits
As of 2020, more than two-fifths (42%) of large U.S. employers offered coverage for IVF treatment, while almost one-fifth (19%) offered egg freezing.
As the coronavirus pandemic has shifted individual priorities and boosted employee leverage, more companies are introducing benefits to remain competitive. Today, employers from JPMorgan and Microsoft to Unilever and Boston Consulting Group offer variations of the benefit.
“When organizations first started funding egg freezing, it was quite radical and extraordinary, and it’s becoming much more mainstream now,” stated Beth Hale, a partner at employment law specialists CM Murray.
“The Great Resignation and resulting historically tight labor market have simply accelerated prevailing trends and pushed employers to more quickly implement family building programs to attract and retain talent,” added WINFertility CEO Roger Shedlin.
Higher Demand for Fertility Treatment
One in eight U.S. couples has trouble conceiving and the number of women choosing to freeze their eggs has risen by 1,000 percent in the U.S. between 2009 and 2016 according to some estimates. The number of individuals, heterosexual and same-sex couples seeking non-traditional routes to parenthood is growing further still.
“I could sense the looming crossroad that many professional women face — the pressurized decision of wanting to advance in their career while starting a family,” stated an employee of investment firm B Capital. She added, “The concept of being able to delay that decision by freezing my eggs was something that suited my personal plan well.
Many employers have realized by providing improved fertility benefits and support for the time needed for fertility care attracts and retains top employees. Additionally, advances in fertility care require less medication, monitoring, and time away from the office
According to the FertilityIQ’s 2019-2020 Family-Building Workplace Index, almost two-thirds of employees who received fertility coverage from an employer said they felt more loyal and committed to the company.
The same study found that 88% of women who had IVF treatment fully paid for by their employer chose to return to that employer after maternity leave, compared to around 50% of the regular population without fertility benefits.
“The issue is if you’re encouraging people in one direction or another,” said CM Murray’s Hale, noting that much of the criticism historically has been around perception. Workplace benefits after all should be enabling, allowing better work-life balance, rather than enclosing, encouraging more work.
What should fertility benefits look like in 2022? To learn more about this topic and speak to one of our physicians about fertility treatment, you can request a consultation here.