A review of nearly 1,000 benefits plans conducted by Mapol Inc., commissioned by global healthcare company Organon Canada, found that the majority of benefits plans offered in Canada – 53 per cent – do not offer fertility benefits for employees.
“Fertility benefits are essential because infertility affects approximately one in six Canadian couples and it comes with a heavy financial burden,” says advocacy organizations, Conceivable Dreams and Fertility Matters Canada.
“Of the employers, 47 per cent that do offer fertility benefits, less than two per cent cover both drugs and treatment costs such as IVF procedures, sperm, eggs, and testing. Coverage for both is critical because many provinces do not offer any funding,” the groups state. “The study found the median lifetime coverage limit for fertility drugs is now $6,000. This amount is increasing but is still far below what is typically required.”
The two organizations say they are working to educate insurance carriers, benefits advisors and employers. Of those who do offer family planning benefits, 22 per cent had no maximums on fertility drugs; other employers have also increased their lifetime limits with almost one quarter offering at least $20,000 for fertility drugs.
They add that the average cost for one round of treatment is $20,000. Surrogacy starts around $60,000. Only seven provinces offer any public funding for family creation, they state. “Canada’s employers are facing a talent crisis and have an opportunity to differentiate themselves with their values and great benefits in a tough labour market,” says Fertility Matters Canada’s executive director, Carolynn Dubé.