Need to Communicate Fertility Benefits to Employees? Here’s 5 Tips
Written by: Tavia McLachlan
Fertility benefits can help lower your overall health benefit costs, improve your employees’ chances of having a family, and boost employee retention — but only if employees are aware of them and know how to use them.
A recent study done by Benefits Canada showed that less than 10% of companies offered fertility benefits. Yet, a study done by a non-profit out of the United States, Resolve, revealed 88% of respondents would switch jobs for better fertility or family-forming coverage. For those companies that DO offer fertility coverage, the same Revolve study found that 30% of employees didn’t even know what was covered or if they were eligible. We have been working first-hand with many HP professionals to recreate benefit plans to be more inclusive – so you go to all this effort to bring your employees what they want now what?? Open enrollment is the perfect opportunity to share clear, direct information about fertility benefits while your employees are most likely to think about signing up.
Tip #1: Keep it simple and repeat yourself!
Keep your message simple and say it a lot! Sound easy? It is. Use multiple tactics to reach your employees such as email blasts, a mention in a newsletter, an infograph posted in the breakroom or on your team channel, and a short video presentation are all different mediums you can use to drive the message home.
Tip #2: Be clear on who the program covers
Infertility does not just affect women. Many employees, from married women to married men to transgendered individuals to single individuals to same-sex couples can all benefit from fertility coverage. Make sure they know it!
Tip #3: Clarify exactly what is covered
Most plans have a lifetime maximum amount. Make sure employees know what it is upfront. They also should be aware of exactly what test and procedures are covered and how their drug-benefits plan works as well. Instead of having to call an insurance provider or, worse still, read through the technical benefits guidebook, employees are thrilled when their company is upfront about dollar amounts and items covered.
Tip #4: Get teams and affinity groups involved
If you have teams that meet regularly for social or educational purposes, aid them with slides or talking points on your inclusive benefits. If the request for fertility and family-forming benefits started with a specific group, make sure those in the group are aware of the new benefit — it can help to close the loop and show employees that you’re listening.
Tip #5: Walk the walk and talk the talk
If you have struggled with infertility or have frozen your eggs in the past be open about it. Share your experiences and de-stigmatize the conversation. Employees rarely discuss family-forming topics while at work on a typical day. If you haven’t had to struggle with these issues, be empathetic and open with those who have and do. Providing fertility benefits but then not letting someone come to work a few minutes late because of appointments is not supporting your benefit offerings.
Using marketing tactics, writing in clear language, and showing buy-in from leadership can all help employees understand and use their fertility benefits when they need them. Employees with benefits that serve them are more likely to stay with their companies, and that is beneficial to everyone.