Over 60% of companies in the US now offer fertility benefits to their employees. Many individuals are looking into these options as they find themselves considering which path to parenthood may be the best one for them. If you are among this group, you may have questions on how to best utilize the benefits offered by your company.
We have compiled a list of important considerations that are worth keeping in mind when investigating employee-sponsored fertility benefits.
1. What Are Your Options?
Take a close look at what your company offers. While many companies may offer fertility benefits, this can exist within a wide range of coverage.
Examples of the different treatments your coverage may include are:
- Evaluation and diagnosis from an expert in reproduction or infertility
- Drug-based therapy
- In vitro fertilization (IVF)
- Intrauterine insemination (IUI)
- Egg freezing
For some companies, fertility benefits end at evaluation and diagnosis. This means that you will be seen and evaluated by a Reproductive Endocrinologist, but the treatment for any diagnosis is not covered.
Other plans may restrict additional IVF cycles if the patient has banked embryos. In other words, the patient would be required to transfer all existing embryos before creating new embryos.
Therefore, it’s important to make sure that you have a strong understanding of what your benefits will cover before you begin. Speak with your benefits provider or HR team as a starting point.
2. Limitations of Your Fertility Benefits
Your fertility benefits also may not kick in right away. Once you have a diagnosis or evaluation, you may have to take specific steps on a path to fertility to be covered by your benefits. For example, you may not receive coverage for IVF until you have had fertility medications and undergone IUI treatments.
It’s also important to confirm if there is a lifetime coverage cap for fertility benefits. For example, coverage might be capped at $25k in lifetime fertility treatments. Also, some benefits offer separate coverage for procedure costs vs. medication costs.
3. Laws Surrounding Insurance
When it comes to fertility treatments, only sixteen states have laws surrounding insurance. Some states limit the kinds of treatments available. Others stipulate that you can only receive coverage after a period of attempting to conceive without treatment.
Be sure you know what your state requires when you inquire with your insurance company.
Different states also have differing surrogacy laws. Some states actively prohibit compensated surrogacy contracts. While others prevent such contracts from being legally recognized.
Speak to a lawyer about your options surrounding surrogacy in your state.
4. LGBTQ+ Challenges
There are unique hurdles for LGBTQ+ couples looking to build a family. For example, coverage does not extend past fertility treatments very often. This is a problem when LGBTQ+ couples are unable to conceive this way and require the use of donor sperm or a gestational carrier, also known as a surrogate.
Only some plans cover surrogacy, and not all cover the purchase of donor sperm. Be aware of the limitations of your plans, and work with your company to advocate for LGBTQ+ equity in the workplace.
5. Additional Learning Resources
As corporate benefits teams rollout fertility benefits company-wide, they often include educational resources on fertility-related topics. Additionally, internal affinity groups that cater to working parents, intended parents, and LGBTQ+ employees often host educational workshops or have access to resource lists of helpful fertility books, consultants, and practitioners.
Additionally, the team at Wellhatched is ready to talk to you about your fertility benefits and what you can do to get the best treatment possible. Whether you have a few more questions or are ready to jump in and strategize, we’re here to support! Send us a message and start working with us today.