Thanks to a conversation following an LGBT awareness event for employees during Pride month, TIAA’s benefits team discovered that adding reciprocal IVF benefits could better support female couples wishing to have a child. So the benefit has been added to the company’s robust family planning benefits package.
“At TIAA, creating a truly inclusive environment is at the core of our culture and we know offering benefits that work for all of our employees is a key factor in living up to that belief,” commented Skip Spriggs, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer. “The addition of reciprocal IVF could significantly help female couples achieve their family planning goals and we want to provide them with the same support other employees already receive.”
Spriggs continued, “This change also illustrates the importance of promoting an environment where employees can be their full-selves and have open discussions. As we continue to encourage honest exchanges of ideas and dialogue, like the one at the “Proud Parent” event, we learn from one another and this understanding enhances our ability to equally support the employee population.”
According to the 2016 Mercer National Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health Plans, only 57 percent of surveyed employers offer a type of infertility service coverage, and only 25 percent of the employers cover IVF.
Before the change in the fertility benefit at TIAA, members had to go through a precertification process where the claims administrator verified a certain amount of sperm/egg contact occurred prior to IVF services being covered. Now members can have IVF services covered without verifying other methods of sperm/egg contact (i.e., natural, artificial insemination) they tried first.
For same-sex female couples to undergo reciprocal IVF, where one woman’s eggs are inseminated and the other woman carries the pregnancy, its not longer necessary to prove infertility to gain access to IVF as a covered benefit.
TIAA is leading the pack in adding these enhanced benefits as a way to actively continue to promote benefits that serve its diverse employee population.