Infertility is an issue that affects working women across the globe. It’s not, however, an issue that women have to face alone; employers are proving to be incredible allies.
As the cost of IVF rises, more and more families can no longer afford the average price for treatment — which is now $12,000 per cycle, and most people need several cycles. Fertility IQ explains that in 2017, "the state of IVF reimbursement continues to be a tale of 'haves and have-nots' with 63 percent of patients and employees receiving zero coverage and almost 20 percent receiving complete coverage."
Data from 2016–2017 from FertilityIQ highlights the best companies to work for as a fertility patient. Companies were ranked by lifetime treatment maximum (how much money an employer will provide towards infertility treatment), pre-authorization details (who can participate in the company’s program), lifetime medication maximum, exclusions and clinic restrictions (what are the clinic options for participating employees).
The below companies placed in the top of their industries for their fertility benefit offerings:
In these rankings, cap flexibility was the number one criteria for each employer. Spotify, Bank of America, Boston Consulting Group and Chanel stand out for not placing a cap on the cost of IVF treatment for employees who demonstrate infertility needs.
Johnson & Johnson publicly reaffirmed their commitment to supporting families in a blog post.
“We are firmly committed to living Our Credo — by respecting the dignity of our employees, fostering a workplace culture of health and providing equal opportunity for everyone,” Peter Fasolo, executive vice president and chief human resources officer at Johnson & Johnson, wrote. “For surrogacy, we are now offering benefits in the U.S. of up to $20,000 per child for all spouses — both heterosexual and same-sex.”
Considering that the average annual salary was $56,516 pre-tax in 2017, according to Census Bureau data, $20,000 goes a long way in supporting employees. But it’s not just the employees that benefit — employers do too.
“Companies that subsidize treatment make a meaningful commitment,” Jake Anderson-Bialis, Amanda Garcia and Deborah Anderson-Bialis wrote for FertilityIQ. “For instance, in a company of 70,000 employees with reasonable benefit adoption, coverage drives $15 - $30 million of additional annual expenses, or in the case of a company like Nike, one to two cents of earnings per share. Thus, the decision to subsidize employee IVF costs are financially material.”
There are also benefits to company retention. Employees who rely on companies for IVF treatment costs have a larger sense of loyalty towards their employer and stay in their jobs longer. Eight-eight percent of program participants who had their IVF full paid by their employer decide to return to their employer after going on maternity leave.
In the technology sector, Apple, IBM and Dell offer excellent IVF benefits to their employees. But it's not just technology companies that offer IVF support. According to FertilityIQ data, Both Deloitte and PwC offer $25,000 of coverage to their employees, as does PepsiCo. Target, General Electric, Fidelity and Accenture also offer above-average benefits to support employees decision to pursue IVF.
"This was likely a sign of a commitment to stay competitive and amongst the smaller, growing technology companies," the study read. "The vast majority of women we surveyed received the benefit through their own employer, not their partner’s."
The demand for IVF services has increased since the world financial crisis in 2008. With 2020 cycle volumes expected to triple, it stands to reason that more and more employees will need the financial support of their employers to pursue infertility treatments. Luckily for them, employers are ready.
“We recognize that family planning is an expensive, sometimes stressful proposition,” Fasolo wrote. “I am immensely proud to work at a company that puts its employees first.”