Fertility and Adoption Benefit Offerings in the Time of COVID

As employers across the United States examine and modify benefit offerings in response to the pandemic, fertility benefits are no exception. The pandemic has impacted families planning for a new addition in different ways, but one thing is constant—the need for employees to feel supported, both emotionally and financially, through this major life event.

Fertility and Adoption Benefit Offerings in the Time of COVID

The number of organizations offering fertility benefits has increased over the past five years. According to the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (Employee Benefits Survey: 2020 Results), 30% of U.S. organizations offer fertility benefits. Overall,

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  • 24% cover fertility medications (8% covered in 2016, 14% in 2018)
  • 24% cover in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments (13% in 2016, 17% in 2018)
  • 14% cover visits with counselors (e.g., geneticists, surrogacy, etc.) (4% in 2016, 8% in 2018)
  • 12% cover genetic testing to determine infertility issues (up slightly from 11% in 2018)
  • 11% cover non-IVF fertility treatments (6% in 2016, 11% in 2018).

In 2016, only 2% of organizations covered egg harvesting/freezing services. That jumped to 6% in 2018 and even higher in 2020, with 10% reporting that they cover the benefit.

I spoke with Julie Stich, CBES, VP of Content at the International Foundation. She said that fertility clinics are reporting that egg harvesting and freezing happened more than usual in 2020 because women were putting off having babies, and even dating, during the uncertainties of the pandemic. Fertility benefits can be highly valued by talent no matter their gender identity or relationship status.

Julie noted that offering fertility benefits to all employees, including LGBTQ+ and single prospective parents, is a positive way to create a more inclusive workplace.

For families looking to adopt, paid/unpaid leave and financial assistance are benefit offerings trending up over the past few years.

YearOffered Paid Adoption LeaveOffered Unpaid Adoption LeaveOffered Financial Assistance With Adoption

Fertility and adoption benefits are more likely to be offered by larger organizations (5,000+ workers), and by organizations that are self-funded.

More employers are supporting employees as they grow their families because they recognize that providing these benefits helps nurture overall happiness and well-being.

Learn More

Employee Benefits Survey 2020 is the seventh comprehensive benefits benchmarking survey conducted by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans. The report covers pension and retirement benefits, health care benefits, voluntary benefits, paid leave, work/life benefits and more. The full report is available at www.ifebp.org/BenefitsSurvey2020.

Anne Patterson
Communications Associate at the International Foundation


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Anne Patterson

Communications Manager at the International Foundation

Favorite Foundation Product: The Word on Benefits Blog

Benefits-Related Topics That Grab Her Attention: Wellness, work/life balance, retirement security, parental leave policies and unique and trending perks.​

Favorite Foundation Event:The day we wait all year forNational Employee Benefits Day!

Personal Insight: Brenda goes with the flow and this approach to life puts everyone around her at ease. Brenda enjoys the mix of roles she plays from communications pro to mom and wife.

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