Fertility and Family-forming Benefits: a Guide for Employers

Fertility and family-forming benefits are important for employers striving to improve health equity, provide access to critical health care services and promote global consistency.


September 07, 2023

This guide aims to help employers understand the global landscape of fertility and family-forming benefits.

In an effort to support the health and well-being of all employees around the world, companies are increasingly recognizing the critical importance of fertility and family-forming benefits. The need for fertility and family-forming benefits continues to grow and evolve due to a higher prevalence of infertility, higher demand for services and growing awareness of the challenges faced by the increasingly diverse makeup of families. In the dynamic policy environment surrounding women’s health and family formation, employers also need to remain aware of regulatory hurdles in certain regions of the world, such as age caps and family eligibility restrictions. These factors present both challenges and opportunities for employers striving to implement a globally consistent benefit strategy and develop a comprehensive, evidence-based and inclusive fertility and family-forming benefits framework.

This guide aims to help employers understand the global landscape of fertility and family-forming benefits by highlighting key principles, regulatory challenges and the evolving needs of modern families. Moreover, it will address the key components to consider when developing a fertility benefit strategy:

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1 | Driving Forces and Emerging Trends Amplifying the Importance of Fertility and Family-forming Benefits

Infertility affects approximately one-sixth of the global population, many of whom are in the prime of their working years.1 Unfortunately, around the world there are varying levels of stigma associated with experiencing infertility along with barriers to accessing evidence-based fertility treatments. To support employees, employers are increasingly evaluating existing cost barriers, navigational issues and other drivers of health disparities in the fertility and family-forming space. The implications of employers’ efforts extend far beyond improving physical and mental health outcomes but also serve as a tool to drive global consistency and health equity, reduce health care costs and retain and recruit top talent.

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2 | The Path to Family Formation: Understanding the Complexities and Challenges

The path to parenthood looks very different than it has for previous generations. In acknowledgement of ever-changing workforce dynamics, employers are assessing how they can best support varying employee needs by offering inclusive fertility and family-forming benefits. For some marginalized populations and other groups, challenges with infertility and the family-forming process are particularly pronounced. It is important for employers to think critically as they consider ways to support the nuanced needs of transgender individuals, single parents by choice and other diverse populations, making sure to understand varying cultural and regulatory considerations as well as keeping in mind alternative treatment options and pathways to parenthood, such as surrogacy and adoption benefits.

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3 | Navigation to Reach Better Quality and Affordability

Ensuring access to evidence-based fertility and family-forming services is just one important aspect of employer strategies in this space. Employers may want to consider empowering employees throughout the decision-making process via navigational support offerings.

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4 | Evolving Technologies and Solutions in Fertility and Family Formation

As innovation continues to make its mark in fertility and family formation, it is important that employers remain aware of emerging technologies and services. Some of these include advances in genetic testing capabilities, fertility preservation services, the role of virtual and at-home tools and support groups and doulas.

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