Historically, employers had a narrow view of family building: few offered support for fertility treatments, adoption, or surrogacy. However, in the past few years, companies have started recognizing the importance of being there for employees as they start their families.

Maven's recent report found that 63% of employers plan to increase their family benefits in the next two to three years, showing that these benefits are becoming table stakes at leading organizations. And employees aren't the only ones who benefit from more family-building support—these benefits help increase employee loyalty, improve productivity, and can lower healthcare costs. 

Here's what you need to know about designing a managed family-building benefit for a diverse workforce that truly move the needle. 

What are family-building benefits?

A family-building benefits package should aim to provide clinical, emotional, and financial support for all individuals along their family-building journey. These benefits should encompass a broad spectrum of family-building needs, including:

  • Fertility testing and consultation
  • Hormone treatments
  • Assisted reproductive technologies like IVF and IUI
  • Egg and sperm freezing
  • Surrogacy and adoption benefits
  • Mental health assistance
  • Financial support for fertility treatments, adoption, and surrogacy

While family-building benefits offer reimbursement programs for a hormone test and fertility treatment, there's much more to consider beyond covering specific treatments. Focusing only on particular services might inadvertently lead employees to pursue interventions that may not be necessary. Providing comprehensive fertility benefits and family-building services ensures employees have the support they need, regardless of their path to parenthood.

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Exploring the financial landscape of family building 

Cost can be a significant barrier to family building. Many people have to pursue expensive fertility treatments, adoption, or surrogacy to start or grow their families. Traditional insurance is very limited in what care is covered, meaning many employees shoulder the total cost of family-building.

A single IVF cycle can cost more than $25k, and the odds of success for the first attempt are less than 30%. Some may seek multiple rounds of IVF treatment, and costs add up quickly—some research estimates that 70% of people who pursue IVF go into debt.  

The financial barriers can also be significant for employees who choose a gestational carrier to conceive or those seeking adoption services. Surrogacy can cost upwards of $150,000, including medical and legal fees, and private adoption can cost between $20k and $50k. And because of discrimination against LGBTQIA+ couples, getting secondary parentage rights for unmarried or domestic partners can add additional costs and legal complexity.

The importance of offering comprehensive family-building benefits 

Offering family-building benefits or a managed fertility benefit isn't just doing right by your people—it makes business sense, too. Here is why your HR team needs to add fertility coverage to your employee benefits package.

Family-building benefits build employee loyalty

Research shows 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 family-building benefits isn't going anywhere, as more couples are putting off parenthood into their thirties and forties.

Offering family-building benefits can also keep top talent from looking elsewhere. For couples navigating infertility, robust 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, and employees are 1.5 times more likely to recommend working for their employer if they offer fertility benefits. 

Family-building 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 provides critical wrap-around support for employees navigating their fertility journeys. Access to mental health specialists can help your team navigate the rollercoaster of emotions that often accompany fertility treatments, adoption, or surrogacy.

Limiting 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.  With 80% of employers saying financial stress can lower their employees' performance at work, providing financial support for fertility treatments can make a measurable difference. 

Supporting family-building can improve productivity

It can be difficult for your employees to navigate fertility treatments without guidance, and the associated financial, emotional, and clinical burdens can hinder their productivity. Access to treatment and guidance can improve employees' ability to focus on work. In fact, 22% of employees who did IVF covered by their employer said they're more likely to work harder. 

Balancing the cost and value of family building and fertility benefits

Research shows that family-building benefits are worth the investment. Family-building benefits can drive improved outcomes, resulting in lower healthcare costs overall. For example, Maven Clinic's Fertility & Family Building program sees: 

  • 25% of fertility members achieving pregnancy without assisted reproductive technology (ART) 
  • A 51% IUI/IVF pregnancy rate
  • An estimated 2:1 clinical ROI

In addition to better clinical outcomes, robust innovative family-building offerings can drive business ROI. Maven's research shows that 96% of Family Building members are more loyal to employers because they implemented Maven, and 83% of members report being more productive at work during fertility treatment. This leads to an estimated 4:1 business ROI from Maven's Fertility & Family-Building program.

Starting or growing a family can be a difficult and expensive journey. And far too often, very little of that journey is covered by traditional health insurance. Filling this gap can show that your company is invested in the long-term growth of your employees. 

As you look to create a comprehensive family-building program that supports employees and drives ROI, Maven is here to help. As the leading women's and family healthcare company, Maven can take all the guesswork out of building a comprehensive, employee-first family-building benefits package for your organization.

Our managed fertility benefit offers 24/7 virtual care, on-demand content and resources, classes and support groups, access to a network of trusted clinics, and expense management and reimbursement. Through our platform, employees can work with a broad range of specialists to help them along their family-building journey, including adoption specialists, fertility educators, reproductive endocrinologists, surrogacy coaches, and mental health practitioners. 

Request a demo today to find out how Maven can help support and enhance your company's global family-building benefits.

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