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New Study Shows Companies Can Offer Competitive Fertility Benefits Without Increase in Cost

RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association notes progress over last 5 years, but urges employees to talk to their employer about adding coverage

(April 20, McLean, VA) The 2021 Survey on Fertility Benefits, commissioned by RESOLVE and fielded in February 2021, reveals how employers evaluate adding or improving family-building friendly benefits which can make a profound difference in the lives of Americans struggling to build their family. Millions of Americans receive their health insurance from a private employer, and decisions on the benefits offered by those employers can determine who can and cannot have a family.

The 2021 Survey on Fertility Benefits was fielded by Mercer and is the second such survey commissioned by RESOLVE with Mercer, the last one being in 2006. Overall, 459 employers responded. Just over half of the respondents – 254 employers – provide some level of coverage; 205 respondents do not provide any coverage.

“The survey results make clear that this highly valued benefit is both affordable and beneficial to companies in terms of attracting and retaining talent, being recognized as a family friendly employer, and supporting Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) efforts,” stated RESOLVE President/CEO, Barbara Collura.

Survey Highlights Include:

  • Virtually all respondents (97%) did not experience a significant increase in medical plan costs, and this includes employers that currently cover In vitro fertilization (IVF).
  • The primary reasons employers cited for covering infertility treatment were to “ensure employees have access to quality, cost-effective care,” (51%) “stay competitive to recruit and retain top talent,” (51%) and to “be recognized as a “family friendly employer” (50%).
  • Additionally, respondents that have added coverage within the last two years are more likely to have done so in support of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: 61% of respondents cited it as a primary objective.
  • Among all large employers, the prevalence of IVF coverage has risen from 24% in 2015 to 27% in 2020. For small employers, IVF coverage increased to 14%. Importantly, among jumbo employers – those with 20,000 or more employees – coverage for IVF has risen from 36% to 42%.
  • At the top of the list of achievements resulting from providing coverage was “ensuring access to quality, cost-effective care” – 71% report that their infertility benefits have achieved this outcome to a significant or moderate extent. Second was “satisfying employee requests,” cited by 64% of respondents.
  • Employers that cover IVF are almost twice as likely to report such positive outcomes – 81% report success in satisfying employee requests, compared to just 44% of those not covering IVF. In terms of supporting DEI efforts, the difference is even greater: Only 27% of those not covering IVF believe that their current infertility coverage offering has helped to advance DEI goals, compared to 79% of those covering IVF.

RESOLVE is optimistic that more employers are recognizing the importance of comprehensive fertility benefits and will place a high value on meeting the needs of their employees.

“Employees should feel empowered to ask for this coverage. And they can do so with confidence as the 2021 Fertility Benefits survey shows a majority of companies add the benefits to satisfy an employee request,” adds Betsy Campbell, Chief Engagement Officer for RESOLVE.

Through RESOLVE’s Coverage at Work Program, employees are offered resources and guidance to help make the ask for better family-building friendly benefits of their employer. To date the program has brought employer provided coverage to more than 550,000 employees.

Survey Details

The Survey was sent as a follow-up to participants in Mercer’s National Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health Plans to collect more detailed information about fertility benefits. In the National Survey, which was conducted in the summer of 2020, employers were asked one question about the types of infertility treatment covered under their most prevalent plan. Their responses to that question were included in the follow-up survey. Respondents were given one of two sets of questions; one designed for employers that cover infertility treatment (or at least an evaluation by a reproductive endocrinologist or infertility specialist) and one designed for employers that do not provide any coverage.

The full report is available on RESOLVE’s website on April 20. To learn more visit RESOLVE and patient spokespeople are available for interviews.

About RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association: Established in 1974, RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association is a non-profit organization with the only established, nationwide network mandated to promote reproductive health and to ensure equal access to all family building options for men and women experiencing infertility or other reproductive disorders. One in eight U.S. couples of childbearing age has trouble conceiving or carrying a pregnancy to term. RESOLVE addresses this public health issue by providing community to these women and men, connecting them with others who can help, empowering them to find resolution and giving voice to their demands for access to all family building options. For more information, visit