United States: To fight the layoff epidemic, companies are strengthening health coverage

In the United States, companies are betting on more comprehensive and inclusive family benefits because they want to attract, but also keep their wages. In this context of the tight labor market, reimbursement of health costs related to infertility could become a major problem in 2022 and in the years to come.

Since the pandemic, US companies have faced an unprecedented wave of layoffs. This “Big Quit” trend has forced the world of work to find new ways to help its employees retain them and attract new ones. According to a Willis Towers Watson Global Benefits Survey, half of the US population said they would rather have more benefits or paid time off than a higher wage or bonus.

A wish that employers seem to have anticipated since the number of companies offering family building benefits (fertility treatment, adoption, foster support, etc.) increased by 8% between 2020 and 2021, according to the FertilityIQ Workplace Index .

In 2021, a third of small employers (between 50 and 499 employees) covered infertility-related costs and 61% of companies with more than 500 employees. But very often coverage is limited to an appointment with a specialist. It does not extend to medical procedures to get pregnant. But that coverage is gradually expanding, even as the largest structures are better able to meet demand. For example, according to a recent Mercer report on fertility, in vitro fertilization (IVF) is covered by 42% of large companies (more than 20,000 employees), compared to 36% in 2015. For small employers, this was 14% in 2020. Ditto for egg freezing, covered by 19% of big boxes (6% in 2015) and 11% of companies with 500 or more employees (5% in 2015).

There are several reasons for this trend. First of all, there is a real demand in the United States, where the infertility problem is significant. About one in eight couples, or 7.4 million Americans, face infertility, according to the National Survey of Family Growth conducted from 2006 to 2010. This figure remains indicative, as it identifies only those people who have taken steps in this direction. . Faced with the prohibitive cost of such treatments, many couples do not even try.

Businesses are aware of this issue, and helping more people become parents without breaking the bank has become one of the goals of these health benefits. Because the companies not only want to remain competitive and attractive to attract and retain the best talent, they also want to be recognized as a family-friendly employer that supports diversity, inclusion and equal opportunity. Because these family benefits are not reserved for couples who are struggling to start a family. They are also suitable for singles and LGBTQ+ couples to become parents through medical procedures or adoption.

(ETX Daily Up)

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