Offering Family-building Benefits
While there may be some overlapping challenges in the path to parenthood, how individuals build their family is ultimately unique to them. The pandemic has only added to the worries and challenges for people trying to build their families, as COVID-19 lockdowns kept potential parents and children separated, and most fertility treatments were stalled in 2020. As restrictions loosen and more health care services resume, the demand for family planning services is on the rise again. Family-building benefits can offer holistic support to employees as they navigate their journeys to parenthood.
With open enrollment right around the corner, employers have an opportunity to provide unique benefits and serve a diverse workforce. This article discusses how employers can explore and offer family-building benefits to help attract top talent, support employees and decrease health care costs.
Family-building Benefits Overview
Family-building benefits are becoming increasingly popular with employees around the country, as they inclusively support the unique and complex ways that individuals and couples build their families. Such benefits can provide employees peace of mind as employers demonstrate their emotional and financial support for employees’ decisions to build a family.
Benefits designed to help employees create their families can take many different forms. Here are some of the most common ways employees may be building their families and how employers can support them through benefits:
Fertility treatment—One in 8 couples have trouble getting pregnant or sustaining a pregnancy, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fertility treatments can help. They often include medications and are sometimes combined with surgical procedures. Two of the most common fertility treatments are intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF). Fertility benefits may cover anything from an infertility diagnosis and medication to IUI and IVF procedures. Due to high procedure costs, traditional coverage plans typically cover genetic or diagnostic testing and maybe one round of IUI or a partial round of IVF.
Donors and surrogacy—Donor sperm, donor eggs or embryos, and surrogates are often used by single people or same-sex couples who want to have a baby. Donor sperm and eggs may also be used if an individual’s own is causing infertility. These benefits typically take the form of cash reimbursements.
Adoption—Adoption benefits are typically similar to those available to new biological parents. Paid or unpaid leave for adoption and financial assistance from employers has been trending to include all new parents. This benefit can be relatively inexpensive because few employees use it. Still, the inclusive support of all new parents is an opportunity to build a good employer brand for being considerate to and supportive of employees.
Not only is building a family physically and financially tough, but the process can also take a massive mental toll on the individuals and couples who want to become parents. Therefore, comprehensive benefits may also extend to counselor visits and other mental health resources. Contact RCB & Associates, LLC at 616-233-9050 to discuss your company's benefits offerings.