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caregiving and family planning benefits

Caregiving and family planning benefits: How to support your employees

July 2, 2024

In today’s fast-paced world, balancing work and family life can be daunting for many employees. For example, 60% of US workers say they don’t have boundaries between work responsibilities and life.  Employees are juggling multiple roles and responsibilities, often including caregiving for children, elderly parents, or other family members and planning for a family. As employers, it’s important to recognize this challenge and consider offering meaningful support in caregiving and family planning. Moreover, with the increasing emphasis on work-life balance, employees seek employers who understand and support their family needs. So, how can you help your employees with their caregiving and family planning needs? Let’s explore some options.

Subsidized emergency dependent care

One of the most immediate ways to support your employees is by offering subsidized emergency dependent care. Life is unpredictable, and emergencies can arise at any moment. Employees need reliable backup care options, whether it’s a sudden illness, a school closure, or a caregiver cancellation. A 2021 survey of 2,500 working parents found that nearly 20 percent of them had to leave work or reduce their work hours solely due to a lack of child care, further positioning the fact that your employees need a form of emergency care they can rely on for peace of mind. By subsidizing emergency care, you provide peace of mind and minimize absenteeism and productivity loss.

Fertility benefits 

Fertility challenges are more common than many realize, with approximately one in eight couples affected by infertility in the United States. That’s about 6.7 million people each year who have trouble conceiving. Offering fertility benefits can make a significant difference in the lives of your employees. These benefits might include coverage for treatments like IVF, egg freezing, or consultations with fertility specialists. According to a recent study by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP), 40% of US organizations included fertility benefits in their 2023 benefits packages. This marks a substantial increase from three years ago when only 30% of companies offered such benefits. Providing fertility benefits is more than just a perk—it’s a statement that your company values its employees’ personal and family goals. 

Adoption and surrogacy reimbursement

Families come together in many ways, and supporting all paths to parenthood is important. Adoption and surrogacy can be expensive and complex processes. By offering reimbursements for these costs, you help reduce the financial burden on your employees. Further, the lack of adoption and surrogacy plans in benefit options is disproportionately affecting LGBTQ couples. To be eligible for fertility benefits, many health plans require a diagnosis of infertility by a medical doctor — which consists of trying for six months without success. For example, many insurance providers still require a medical diagnosis for infertility before offering any sort of fertility coverage, despite the fact that 68% of participants in a recent Reproductive Medicine Associates of New Jersey survey said members of the LGBTQ community should have equal access to reproductive care. With eleven million Americans identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, 88% of whom are employed, it is imperative that you offer benefits that cater to all of your employees. 

The information in this blog post is for educational purposes only. It is not legal or tax advice. For legal or tax advice, you should consult your own legal counsel, tax and investment advisers. 

WEX receives compensation from some of the merchants identified in its blog posts. By linking to these products, WEX is not endorsing these products.

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