Few Canadian companies offer fertility benefits

 

Has the pandemic caused you to rethink having kids? If the pandemic hasn't your work situation might.

A recent survey found the majority of employers in Canada don't offer fertility benefits and those that do offer less than $3,500.

According to the findings, the average cost of one round of in vitro fertilization (IVF) costs roughly $20,000, while surrogacy costs can reach upwards of $80,000.

Additionally, while only five provinces offer any form of funding, the high cost of these procedures makes them virtually inaccessible for many Canadians.

Based on the results, the majority of Canadian employers did not provide fertility benefits, and those that did 21 per cent offered annual maximums ranging from $600 to $2,000 with a median of $1,150 per year; while 85 per cent offered benefit plans that included lifetime maximums for fertility drugs, which ranged from $2,400 to $18,000 with a median of $3,250 per lifetime; and only five per cent provided coverage for both fertility drugs and other fertility costs such as IVF procedures and testing.

“Many Canadians are choosing to have families later in life when their fertility is on the decline. Single parents and non-heteronormative individuals and couples rely on family building options such as IVF, surrogacy, gamete donation, or adoption,” Carolynn Dube, executive director of Fertility Matters Canada, said in a news release.

“Family building has changed. We recognize that many employers do not understand what that looks like for countless Canadians. We want to educate them so they can provide better benefits to their employees," she continued.

Moreover, the findings also indicate employees who receive coverage from their employers are more loyal to the company--62 per cent said they were more willing to stay with a company that provided coverage for their treatment, while 53 per cent were more willing to overlook their employer's shortcomings, and 22 per cent were more likely to work harder.

“We are calling on employers and insurers to be part of the change and lead by example,” Tara Wood, fertility advocate and the Board President of Conceivable Dreams, said in the same release.

“Employers that offer inclusive benefits that meet the needs of all employees, plus attract and retain great talent. We are asking insurance providers to offer more comprehensive fertility coverage options for plan sponsors and to update plan language to reflect modern family needs and treatment options," she continued.

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