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Why fertility benefits need to be a priority in 2023

Why fertility benefits need to be a priority in 2023

Fertility benefits are no longer optional. As leading companies look to attract and retain talent, fertility benefits are becoming table stakes. Learn why your HR team needs to add fertility coverage to your employee benefits package, and how to build benefits that meet employees's unique needs.

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    Companies are leveraging fertility benefits, covering services like IVF, egg freezing, and even mental health support, to attract and retain top talent. These benefits are not just improving employees' health and outcomes, but also making them more productive and loyal to their companies. By designing inclusive, personalized fertility benefits, employers are making an impact on employee wellbeing and their company's bottom line.

    Fertility benefits have become one of employers’ most popular tactics in the ongoing quest to attract top talent. Once considered a luxury, companies are increasingly ranking it as a top benefits priority. And for good reason: More than 48 million couples across the globe experience infertility, and 67% of LGBTQIA+ employees intend to grow their families through fertility treatment, adoption, or surrogacy. Employees have made it clear they expect their employers to support them on their journeys to and through parenthood, with one-third of employees saying they want additional support for family-building.


    couples around the world experience infertility


    of LGBTQIA+ employees intend to grow their families through fertility treatment, adoption, or surrogacy

    1 in 3

    employees want additional support for family building

    What are fertility benefits, and what should they cover?

    The goal of a fertility benefit is to help people build their families with as much support as possible. The majority of people seeking fertility treatments are worried about their costs—not just financially, but clinically and emotionally as well. Fertility benefits should support the spectrum of family-building needs, including (but not limited to):

    • Fertility testing and consultations
    • Hormone treatments
    • IVF and IUI
    • Egg and sperm freezing
    • Surrogacy and adoption support
    • Mental health support
    • Financial support

    Because of the exorbitant costs of procedures like IVF,  fertility benefits sometimes take the form of reimbursement programs for hormone tests and IVF cycles. However, there’s more to fertility benefits than just paying for certain treatments. Offering only specific services can actually push your employees to seek interventions they don’t necessarily need.

    According to Dr. Wael Salem, a reproductive endocrinologist at CCRM San Francisco, “A fertility benefit that is designed to provide financial coverage for treatment alone does not make sense. It excludes the vast majority of cases where people need support and guidance and are vulnerable to misinformation. It’s not enabling everything that healthcare can actually do to help people grow their families.”

    Read more: What should fertility benefits look like? Reproductive endocrinologists weigh in

    “A fertility benefit that is designed to provide financial coverage for treatment alone does not make sense...It’s not enabling everything that healthcare can actually do to help people grow their families."

    Trends in fertility benefits for employees

    Employers understand that the traditional healthcare system doesn’t adequately support people along their family-building journey. Employees face challenges including high cost of care, limited access to specialty providers, and medical racism and discrimination. As the landscape for fertility changes, four major trends in fertility benefits have emerged:

    • Offering personalized support for people undergoing fertility treatments
    • Recognizing the unique needs of LGBTQIA+ individuals
    • Leaning into transparency around fees, payments, and utilization
    • Incentivizing the right types of care for peoples’ unique needs

    Read more: 4 trends in fertility benefits

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    Fertility benefits aren’t just a perk but critical to recruitment and retention

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    Why should companies offer fertility benefits in 2023?

    Fertility benefits help employees navigate options and payments for a wide range of treatments, including in vitro fertilization (IVF), egg freezing, and gestational surrogacy. Offering fertility benefits isn’t just doing right by your people—it makes business sense, too. Here’s why your HR team needs to add fertility coverage to your employee benefits package.

    1. Fertility benefits build employee loyalty

    Today’s employees expect more from their benefits. Traditional offerings like health, vision, and dental insurance are table stakes, as are essential family benefits like parental leave. A Reproductive Medicine Associates of New Jersey (RMANJ) survey found that nearly 70% of millennials would change jobs to ensure they have fertility coverage. Among employees struggling with infertility, that number jumped to 90%. And the demand for fertility benefits isn’t going anywhere, as more couples are putting off parenthood into their thirties and forties.

    “Employees have more power than ever when it comes to searching for a place to work that meets their needs,” said Linn Atiyeh, founder of Bemana, a recruiting firm. Employer ratings bear that out: Over 80% of top-ranked workplaces offer reimbursement for fertility care, and half of these organizations have recently expanded their coverage to appeal to employees and job seekers. “Businesses that offer fertility coverage ultimately make themselves into a more attractive and competitive workplace,” Atiyeh said.

    “Businesses that offer fertility coverage ultimately make themselves into a more attractive and competitive workplace."

    Offering competitive benefits can also keep top talent from looking elsewhere. For couples navigating infertility, impactful family benefits can make an outsized impact on their perception of your business. That’s why 62% of U.S. employees who had IVF covered by their employer remained in their job for an extended period. “It builds loyalty,” said Scott Spivack, director at United Medical Credit. “Employees who received fertility benefits are more inclined to remain in their job. They are willing to work harder, too.” That’s not just a hunch: individuals with access to fertility benefits do report having a sense of loyalty toward their companies. For example, employees are 1.5 times more likely to recommend working for their employer if they offer fertility benefits. 

    2. Fertility benefits are key to an inclusive workplace

    Every family has a unique path to parenthood. As working women wait longer to have children, some have opted to freeze their eggs while developing their careers or finding the right partner. But working women aren’t alone in embracing reproductive healthcare: more than two-thirds of LGBTQIA+ people planning families expect to use assisted reproductive technology and other alternative means of becoming parents.

    Archie Payne, president of CalTek Staffing, a technical recruiting firm, finds that talent is increasingly demanding more inclusive benefits. “A recent candidate said they would only apply to positions that offered inclusive family perks and wouldn’t take a second look at those that didn't,” Payne said. “A company that offers fertility coverage shows its commitment to diversity, equity, and belonging. Providing the necessary coverage for family planning and fertility is a positive way to create a more inclusive workplace where all employees feel truly valued.”

    3. Fertility benefits support employee mental health

    Studies show that those navigating infertility suffer from adverse mental health outcomes, including feelings of inadequacy, lower self-esteem, and strained relationships. Research has also shown that people with infertility suffer from the same level of anxiety and depression as those with cancer or heart disease

    Mental health care available through fertility benefits provides critical wrap-around support for employees as they navigate their fertility journeys. Access to mental health specialists can help your team navigate the rollercoaster of emotions that often accompany fertility treatments. Some may also benefit from access to support groups or classes where they can connect with peers going through similar fertility treatments, helping them to feel less alone during and after the process.

    4. Limiting fertility expenses can improve employees’ financial health

    Given the high cost of fertility care, there’s an acute risk of financial stress among employees pursuing alternative paths to parenthood. For example, IVF can cost upwards of $25,000 per cycle, with most couples requiring two or more cycles before achieving a successful pregnancy. Studies show that of people who plan to pursue fertility treatment, 40% reported feeling stressed about the cost and the resulting debt and more than 50% planned to use a credit card to pay for the treatment. 

    With 80% of employers saying that financial stress can lower their employees’ performance at work, providing financial support for fertility treatments can make a measurable difference. Employers can choose to reimburse employees for a certain number of treatment cycles, or offer a lifetime maximum amount to each employee that they can use for eligible fertility expenses. 

    5. Supporting fertility can improve productivity

    Navigating fertility treatments without guidance can be a frustrating process that can eat up your employee's time and energy. These financial, emotional, and clinical burdens can ultimately hinder their productivity at work. However, studies suggest that increasing access to treatment can improve employees’ ability to focus on work. In fact, 22% of employees who did have their IVF covered by their employer said they're more likely to work harder. 

    Employers offering fertility benefits often reap the benefits of more productive employees. Providing your employees with accessible, easy-to-use resources to handle their fertility challenges will likely help reduce stress around the process. And less stress means they'll have more mental space to succeed and be active contributors at work.

    Get the guide: Your guide to fertility benefits: what to cover and how to build them

    Enhancing fertility benefits with Maven Clinic

    As the leading women’s and family health company, Maven offers a comprehensive fertility program that includes on-demand access to fertility experts, clinically-vetted educational content, and financial management for fertility treatment. Our goal is to help couples conceive in the way that’s best for them. That’s why 17% of members who join our fertility track don’t end up needing or receiving treatment. And Maven helps employees bring their all to the office, too—83% of our Family Building members reported being more productive at work during fertility treatment from having Maven’s support. Contact us today to learn more about how Maven supports working families, retains talent, and reduces costs.


    We’re always here to answer your questions—and that starts now.

    How common are fertility benefits?

    Fertility coverage isn’t a niche or a luxury benefit. A recent report by Maven found that over a third of employers offer fertility benefits. 

    Benefits and recruiting experts echoed that sentiment. “In our work with clients, we’re seeing that fertility benefits are an increasingly common part of the benefits package, particularly at larger companies,” said Matt Erhard, managing partner at Summit Search Group. He cited the benefit’s affordability, concerns about retention, and a growing awareness of what fertility treatments entail as reasons employers should offer fertility benefits. 

    Data also shows that employer-sponsored coverage for fertility procedures and services have increased in popularity year over year. Notably, DE&I has been a key driver in this growth: 61% of businesses that recently added fertility coverage cited equity and inclusion as their top reason for doing so.

    Are fertility benefits expensive?

    A Mercer survey found that 97% of employers that offer fertility coverage (including IVF coverage) reported no significant cost increase. “While fertility treatments like IVF may appear expensive on the individual level, as an employer-offered benefit, they’re affordable compared to other aspects of the employee benefits package,” Erhard said.

    That’s because no path to parenthood is the same, and individuals struggling with infertility can often achieve success through IUI and other more affordable options. In addition, with preimplantation genetic testing often included in the fertility treatment process, couples using fertility treatments today are more likely to have positive outcomes on the first try. 

    Whatever approach couples choose, managing the costs doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Maven Wallet makes it simple for employees to calculate the cost of fertility, surrogacy, adoption, and other services upfront, giving them clarity into how much their benefits will cover. It also connects to individuals’ bank accounts, providing them with quick access to their employers’ fertility reimbursement funds when they need it. Learn more about Maven Wallet here.

    Should time off be included as a fertility benefit?

    Yes, and offering fertility benefits may not be a matter of choice. Fertility treatment is a lengthy process that, more often than not, requires employees to take time off from work. Most legal experts believe that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Americans With Disabilities Act protects workers from being penalized for taking time off for fertility treatment.

    Ready to provide personalized family-building and fertility benefits to your employees?

    Maven is uniquely positioned to support employees along their reproductive healthjourney, no matter their path to and through parenthood.

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    Maven is the leading digital family health benefit for starting and raising a family. Providing end-to-end support across a full spectrum of needs, we’re there for your employees throughout the entire family journey with inclusive, accessible care that improves health outcomes, return-to-work rates, and reduces overall healthcare costs.

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    Your employees get

    24/7 access to providers covering 350+ subspecialties—at home or on the go
    Inclusive support for every path to and through parenthood, including access to providers with clinical expertise in serving the LGBTQIA+ community
    Dedicated Care Advocates to guide members to the right support for their needs—with support for 35+ languages

    Your company gets

    One integrated benefit configurable to your needs—no more managing (or paying for) multiple point solutions
    Savings on the biggest healthcare costs, with up to 3x return on fertility investment and 6x return on maternity investment
    Higher retention and return-to-work rates, plus increased productivity

    Fortune 500 companies and startups across industries trust Maven to create great employee experiences.

    When families are taken care of,
    teams thrive in and out of the workplace


    of working mothers will leave a job for an opportunity that better supports their work
    and life considerations


    of millennials would leave their jobs for fertility-related coverage

    1 in 4

    employers are seeing talent leave due to increased childcare responsibilities


    “Maven has truly been a success story from day one. Our employees are so very appreciative of this program. I’ve had people call me and say, ‘I couldn’t have come back to work without the support through Maven and SoFi.’

    Debbie Westover,

    Director of Benefits, Sofi

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    Healthy families make healthy companies

    If attracting and retaining top talent, advancing diversity, health equity, and inclusion, as well as reducing healthcare spend are top of mind for you, learn how Maven aligns with your priorities today.

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