Quick Look: Many people want to start a family, and unfortunately many struggle to do so. Here’s how brokers, with support from a PEO, can enable their clients to offer a comprehensive family-forming support program to strengthen their recruiting, retention, and company culture.
Hoping to someday start a family is a priority for many people, even if it’s not always a part of daily workplace banter. However, one in eight U.S. couples experience infertility, and when you factor in LGTBQ couples, those wishing to adopt, and single parents by choice, growing a family becomes an incredibly widespread issue.
The time is now for brokers to add family-building benefits to their toolkit and encourage their clients to offer a support program to employees. With so many populations able to take advantage of this coverage, employers can improve countless lives by offering it – and can even experience some tangible business perks themselves.
Who uses family-building benefits?
Family-building benefits can change many people’s lives, including men and women struggling with infertility, LGBTQ individuals, people who want to adopt, and singles who would like to raise a family.
Furthermore, 10% of women report they or their partners have received medical assistance to become pregnant, and men and women are both affected by infertility challenges – roughly 40-50% of infertility problems are male-factor issues.
When it comes to issues surrounding starting a family, so many populations are at stake, and offering a family-forming support program just makes sense.
The value of a family-forming support program
Offering a family-forming support program is a great way for employers to extend a benefit to its entire workforce in one swift go – something that isn’t as easily accomplished with health insurance. Currently only 17 states have laws in place requiring insurers to either cover or offer coverage for infertility diagnosis and treatment. And even then, coverage does not guarantee that an employee would qualify, as insurance companies often have very specific qualification criteria.
On the contrary, a family-forming support program can be offered to every employee and includes services like:
- Access to benefits experts, fertility clinicians, emotional counselors, and lawyers, as well as a dedicated care manager
- Discounted rates at select fertility clinics and adoption and surrogacy agencies
- Personalized care plans
- Prescription ordering and at-home delivery
- Support and educational resources for every stage of growing a family
How clients can benefit
Helping employees expand their households can also help your clients grow their business.
As employers navigate the current employee’s market and try their best to recruit and retain workers, offering family-building benefits may be the advantage they need to stand out from their competition.
In fact, an incredible 68% of employees would switch jobs if a better fertility policy were offered, and in 2022, 63% of employers plan to cover fertility services beyond just infertility diagnosis. What’s more, when social media management company Hootsuite began offering fertility benefits, its employee engagement scores leaped from 66% to 81%.
Offering family-building benefits also plays a big role in strengthening your clients’ diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives, as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and LGBTQ employees are more likely to face medical discrimination and poor health outcomes when navigating fertility and reproductive healthcare.
Another advantage of offering family-building benefits? It can actually decrease medical plan costs. When professionally supported while growing their families, employees are less likely to run into issues that can contribute to higher medical costs.
For example, when coached by experts, a couple undergoing in-vitro fertilization (IVF) is more likely to choose to transfer just one embryo per cycle versus multiple – something that helps lower healthcare costs. How? Transferring multiple embryos in one cycle can increase the chance of twin or triplet pregnancies, which in turn can cause the pregnancy to become high-risk, leading to poorer maternal and infant health and long, expensive hospital stays. This situation can be avoided by providing clinical counseling that enables employees to choose the safest treatment methods.
Benefits alone aren’t enough: culture is a must
For your clients, simply offering family-building coverage isn’t enough to optimize the employee experience. Just as important as the benefit itself is creating a comfortable company culture where work-life balance is clearly prioritized.
Oftentimes when employers offer these benefits, it can be seen as the company trying to push workers to wait longer to have children, and in turn younger employees may fear utilizing the benefits and appearing less devoted to their jobs. Encourage your clients to create regular, meaningful conversations about the value of younger and older employees alike taking advantage of family-building coverage.
It’s also crucial for clients to understand that family-building isn’t “one-size-fits-all.” Your clients must be sure to offer an inclusive benefit that’s not limited by out-of-date, heteronormative definitions. For example, clients should consider providing access to a family-forming support program that not only addresses infertility issues, but adoption and surrogacy, as well.
And finally, clients should remember that pregnancy, childbirth, and raising a child is incredibly stressful and emotional – no matter who the parents are or how the child made their way to the family. Employers can help by offering by an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) which provides free, anonymous mental health resources (and more).
Growing families by growing partnerships
Brokers, you aren’t alone in helping your clients develop a comprehensive family-building benefit plan. A professional employer organization (PEO) like ExtensisHR can assist by providing:
- Fortune 500-level benefits, including an optional family-forming support program featuring a knowledge library, benefit guide, expert consultations, customized roadmaps, and more
- An all-inclusive EAP with the ability to reach a certified clinician 24/7
- Dedicated HR and benefits experts who can guide both employers and employees through the intricacies of family-building benefit coverage
- And more
Ready to equip your clients with the option to provide a family-forming support program? Contact the experts at ExtensisHR now.