There’s no doubt about it: Surrogacy and its related in vitro fertilization procedures can be expensive. In your research as an intended parent, you may have stumbled across articles boasting of the expansion of insurance policies’ coverage of IVF-related processes.
But, what if your current work insurance doesn’t cover IVF treatments? How can you make the surrogacy process more affordable?
Remember: Employers Want to Keep Their Employees Happy
It can be intimidating to take the step of asking for more coverage, but remember that it’s an employer’s job to anticipate their employees’ needs. Many employers may not even realize their policies are lacking this important coverage until an employee (like you) brings it to their attention.
The way people build their families today is much different than even a decade ago, and it’s important that employers understand those changes and address them appropriately in the workplace. Making a family easier to create, financially, will help employers retain their employees. It’s a mutually beneficial move to take.
In fact, recent studies show that people who have employer-provided infertility/IVF health insurance have higher satisfaction with their employer — an important thing to let your employer know.
Before you approach your employer about adding insurance coverage for infertility treatments, make sure you understand exactly what kind of coverage is most beneficial — and exactly how health insurance works. It can be a confusing industry, but it will do both you and your employer favors if you enter this meeting armed with facts.
In addition to explaining how this insurance coverage can impact relationships among employers and employees, take the time to explain how expensive infertility treatments are and what that journey usually looks like. Those who have not experienced infertility themselves may have no concept of this process, so use your personal experience and other facts (with studies of the cost of infertility, the emotional effects of this journey, etc.) to paint a picture for your employer.
Prepare for this Meeting
It takes more than just information to convince employers to expand their insurance coverage. You should anticipate the questions your employer may ask, provide follow-up questions and answers of your own, and be overly prepared for this meeting. Expanding your insurance is an important thing for you and your fellow employees, so make sure you communicate that importance with your preparedness.
The National Infertility Association has offered a workplace coverage checklist, which may help you prepare for this conversation.
Consider a Compromise
Unfortunately, not all employers will grant requests for expanded insurance outright. Instead, obtaining your insurance may be a bit of give and take.
One of the most common things you’ll see in current infertility coverage is coverage of procedures that are not as successful as IVF in leading to pregnancy. If this is the case in your insurance policy, discuss with your employer the possibility of switching out those covered procedures for in vitro fertilization or another procedure with a higher proven rate of success. In 2015, almost 68,000 babies were born using assisted reproductive technology out of the almost 213,000 treatment cycles. IVF is, by far, the most popular method intended parents use, whether to have a pregnancy of their own or for other processes like surrogacy.
This is why an understanding of infertility insurance is so important — so you can identify what is and isn’t working in your current policy and offer compromises to obtain the coverage you really need.
You may also consider other compromises, like giving up another service your employer provides in return for this insurance. If your conversation is a back-and-forth, you may be more likely to obtain infertility coverage than if you issue a strict demand.
Your employer may not be able to provide a solid answer on your first meeting, and that’s okay. They will likely need time to evaluate their current policies and determine what is the best course of action moving forward.
However, make sure to keep your request at the forefront of their mind. Send them reminder emails, or set a schedule to check in with meetings every so often. Your persistence will show your employer exactly how important expanding insurance is to you, and they may be more likely to adhere to your wishes if you do.
For more advice on how to ask your employer about infertility insurance, check out the information provided by the National Infertility Association. For more information about making surrogacy affordable, please contact our surrogacy specialists.