How to talk to your CFO about fertility benefits

As an HR leader, you’ve likely noticed the growing demand for fertility benefits in the workplace. You’re not alone in that observation — the numbers tell a similar story. In 2022, 61% of employers with more than 500 employees provided at least some infertility coverage. 

Whether you’re contemplating the possibility of introducing fertility benefits to your organization or have already received employee requests for coverage, you may be wondering how you can get your Chief Financial Officer (CFO), whose responsibility is to manage costs, on board with the idea. Fertility benefits can potentially save your company money while fostering inclusivity and promoting the recruitment and retention of top talent.

All of these key points are important to raise in conversations with your CFO about how fertility benefits can benefit your organization. Here’s how to do it. 

Control healthcare costs 

When considering company finances, looking at potential long-term effects is important — not just upfront costs. 

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a long, challenging, and expensive process — and many may think the only solution to infertility. A typical cycle can cost up to $26,000 and most people will do more than one cycle before they become pregnant. 

IVF is also associated with twins, triplets, and other sets of multiples because individuals paying out-of-pocket may opt to implant multiple embryos, given the high cost of repeated fertility treatments. But did you know that in most cases, it’s unnecessary to implant multiple embryos? Doing so could harm the birthing person and increase the chances of costly C-sections and poor health outcomes like preterm birth, low birth weight, and neurological impairments.

You can let your CFO know that single embryo transfer (SET) is the single most predictive indicator of a singleton IVF pregnancy and subsequent successful live birth. And Carrot’s industry-leading SET rate is independently validated by Milliman, a global leader in actuarial services. Our SET policy is clinically approved to guide members to safer practices that lead to healthier outcomes, which saves employers money in the long-run. 

And while IVF is an important resource, it's important to note the right fertility benefit doesn’t fast-track employees to this procedure. With care navigation, employees can also understand their options and consider trying less invasive pathways first. Fertility testing, ovulation tracking, and nutritional support are all critical factors in a comprehensive fertility benefit that ensures all members can receive the best support for their needs and lower upfront costs for employers.

Boost employee productivity 

Fertility-related issues can be highly stressful for employees and, as a result, negatively impact their work performance. From researching costs, attending appointments, and managing mental health, fertility journeys can bring myriad distractions, so it’s not surprising that 74% of employees pursuing family formation admit to researching their options during the workday. 

This phenomenon — when employees haven’t taken time off but are less productive due to other personal distractions — is called “presenteeism.” Research suggests that presenteeism costs employers 10 times more than absenteeism, when employees take off of work for personal reasons.  

Helping your employees cover the cost of treatments relieves some financial burden, inspires feelings of loyalty toward your organization, and motivates employees to work harder.‍ Finances aren’t the only way employers can help. You can also emphasize that a fertility benefit that includes educational support and resources such as guidance from care navigators and chats with medical experts can simplify the research process and ease the mental load on employees. 

Carrot members have access to Carrot Experts, as well as a network of thousands of clinics and providers, vetted for medical standards and LGBTQ+ inclusivity to ensure members receive the highest quality of care.  

Bolster recruiting efforts 

Employees have options and can be selective about which company they work for — that’s why it’s important for employers to offer a competitive package that stands out from other offerings. 

With 88% of people willing to change jobs for fertility benefits, your CFO should understand that demand for fertility benefits has never been higher.

Employees are also looking for diverse workplaces. According to a CNBC survey, 80 percent of respondents want to work for a company that values diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. Fertility benefits can serve people of all backgrounds, and are essential for promoting DEI. Access to options like gestational surrogacy and adoption are particularly important for LGBTQ+ families and single parents by choice. 

Thinking beyond the scope of family formation, such as support for menopause and low testosterone (low T) is also crucial for recruiting and retaining experienced top talent. The average age for menopause is 51, but symptoms can begin up to a decade prior to the perimenopause or menopausal transition period. Symptoms can be isolating and draining. More than half of respondents considered making an employment change because of menopause. 

Carrot also introduced coverage for hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for people experiencing menopause and low T. Regular and accurate medical care upfront reduces the need for costly outpatient visits and unnecessary pharmacy costs later on.  

Improve employee retention with fertility benefits

In addition to bringing more high-quality employees into your organization, fertility benefits can inspire your employees to stay longer. Carrot found found that 88% of employees would consider changing jobs for fertility benefits. Similarly, employees who work at companies with adoption benefits, regardless of whether or not they’re users, often feel more goodwill toward their employers.

On the flip side, employees are also more likely to leave an organization that doesn’t offer them the benefits they want: more than 50% of employees have reported leaving their jobs after finding better benefits elsewhere.

Why does this matter? If you look at the data, it costs employers from one-half to two times the employee's annual salary to hire a replacement if they leave. This means that if a mid-level employee paid an annual salary of $100,000 decides to leave your company to join another offering better benefits, it would cost you $50,000 to $200,000 to replace that individual. By reducing your organization's turnover rate, you could save thousands of dollars as a result.                                                                 

Fertility benefits are an investment for companies looking to promote DEI, improve productivity, recruit and retain top talent, and — possibly most important to your CFO— save money. With the key points we outlined above, you can make a strong case to your CFO and the rest of the leadership team to introduce fertility benefits to your company.

If you’re interested in learning more about Carrot’s comprehensive fertility benefits offerings, let us know.

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