The Supreme Court last month voted in favor of Roe v. Wade overthrew, and in the aftermath, employers and employees wondered what it meant for their reproductive rights, and the benefits they had that protected them.
Fertility has become a critical part of benefit offers. In 2020, 47% of companies with more than 5,000 employees in vitro fertilization (IVF) and 42% of companies with more than 20,000 employees provided IVF support, according to the fertility benefits provider Carrot Fertility. By 2025, 58% of benefit leaders will consider it discrimination not to offer fertility benefits.
But the overthrow of Roe v. Wade has made the future of fertility benefits uncertain.
Read more: How 10 benefit providers offer support to Roe v. Wade
“We have been closely monitoring the impact that the recent decision on fertility services may have,” says Roger Shedlin, CEO of WINFertility, a technology-enabled family-building management solution for employers. “This decision added potential complexity [to family building] such as possible travel for treatment, as well as additional costs for patients and third parties that help provide these benefits. ”
And while suppliers have not seen any immediate changes to the demand for fertility benefits, it is safest to be careful and prepared. Shedlin spoke to EBN about what the Supreme Court ruling means for employees now and in the future:
How is the overthrow of Roe v. What affects fertility and family-building benefit providers like WINFertility?
Before the decision to Roe v. To overthrow Wade, the space has grown quite dramatically. We have seen a wide range of employers across industries, geographical areas and company sizes offering family building benefits and swinging the traditional clinical definition of infertility to include the LGBTQ community. And fortunately, since the Supreme Court ruling, we have not seen any slowdown in those trends – no existing WINFertility client has hesitated or discussed to limit any of their benefits.
So in an interesting way I think the focus is on reproductive benefits and the importance of those benefits. It has further increased employers ‘desire to support their employees’ independence in this space. Since the ruling, a number of companies have come out and affirmatively announced that they will support employees and their benefits.
Are there ways in which the ruling will make it harder for people to start families?
No one knows the exact impact. The decision has a wide range of interpretations, but the most likely is that it will differ from state to state – some states’ response to the decision may be to try to restrict certain IVF protocols, while other states may consider laws to to protect reproductive rights.
Read more: Roe v. Wade ruling puts older and younger employees at odds
We already know that certain select communities that need IVF excessively to build families – such as the LGBTQ community – are going to be affected by kind of out of proportion by any kind of restriction or restriction. But there is still a lot in the air and we imagine that much of this will play out in the state legislatures and possibly the state courts. But WINFertility is willing to help our employers and clients, regardless of their state’s outcome.
And what are some ways providers can provide that kind of support?
You know many of our clients have reached out to ask the same questions you ask – whether there will be an impact on fertility treatments. And the one thing we do know is that our programs can help alleviate the concerns of employees and their partners.
For example, one model we offer is one-on-one clinical advocacy. This allows us to provide information and support. As the state-of-the-art variations increase over time, this type of clinical support model will become more important than ever. And what I mean by one-on-one clinical advocacy is that we have trained nursing managers and behavioral coaches who can provide experience in administering custom benefit and funding solutions that will be increasingly critical in the aftermath.
In general, different laws and regulations across different geographic areas for these treatments can create a layer of uncertainty and complexity for patients and their families. So committing to supporting and assisting patients in navigating these complexities is going to be very important.