FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NATIONAL SURVEY FINDS EMPLOYERS COVERING INFERTILITY TREATMENT
EXPERIENCE NO SIGNIFICANT INCREASE IN COST
But only 20% of companies offer such coverage; lack of insurance coverage can lead to multiple and premature births, as highlighted by the new Institute of Medicine (IOM) report.
BETHESDA, MD, JULY 20, 2006 -- Ninety-one percent of employers who provide infertility coverage for their employees say they have not experienced an increase in their medical costs as a result of providing coverage for infertility treatment, including in vitro fertilization, according to a survey of more than 900 employers conducted by Mercer Health and Benefits, and commissioned by RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, with sponsorship support from Organon USA.
“This survey clearly debunks the myth that infertility coverage increases medical coverage costs significantly. The vast majority of employers, who in many instances offered self-insured benefits plans, acknowledged that coverage of infertility diagnosis and treatment has had little or no impact on their premium expense, and many report that it has been a boon to their recruitment and retention of valued employees,” said Joseph C. Isaacs, CAE, RESOLVE President and Chief Executive Officer.
“Further, insurance coverage for infertility treatment promotes effective disease management practices and improved quality patient care. The experience in states now offering infertility coverage demonstrates that quality of care is enhanced and the number of multiple births and pre-term births significant concerns raised in a recent report entitled “Preterm Birth: Causes, Consequence, Prevention,” issued by the Institute of Medicine decrease measurably,” added Isaacs.
More than 7.3 million Americans, or 1 in 8 couples of childbearing age, suffered from infertility in this country in 2002, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than a 20 percent increase since 1995. “The number of women and men diagnosed with infertility is increasing throughout the world,” Isaacs cautioned. “This health concern has enormous implications for our future economy and for society. It is critical that we respond to this growing public health challenge to family building.”
According to RESOLVE, when timely and appropriate infertility treatment is accessed, 70-80 percent of those provided the necessary care will achieve a successful outcome. However, because of the cost barriers and lack of insurance coverage to defray these costs, it is estimated that about half of those afflicted with infertility fail to obtain this care. Those who must pay for treatment from their savings feel added pressure to succeed on their first, and sometimes only, treatment cycle and often implant multiple embryos, whichcan lead to multiple births, contributing to the trend highlighted in the IOM report.
The Mercer survey found that 20 percent of employers nationwide cover in vitro fertilization and approximately 37 percent cover drug therapy for infertility treatment. About half of all employers cover evaluation by an infertility specialist. More than two-thirds of these employers have been providing infertility coverage at their current level for more than five years.
The survey revealed that the two most common reasons employers provide infertility treatment coverage is to ensure employees have access to quality, cost-effective care (75 percent of employers who offer infertility treatment) and to be recognized as a family-friendly employer and attract and retain valued employees (72 percent). In addition, 65 percent of employers offering infertility treatment cited responding to employee requests as a primary objective for covering infertility benefits.
Nearly two-thirds of employers who do not provide infertility treatment coverage cited the potential of increased cost as the main reason for not providing coverage, a perception at odds with the actual experience of the great majority of employers that do provide such coverage. “The range of positive responses from employers providing infertility coverage clearly suggests that their image as ‘family friendly’ has resulted in greater employee loyalty and the ability to attract good personnel,” said Isaacs. “These employers indicate that the benefits far outweigh the costs, which have been relatively negligible. Infertility coverage has proven to be a wise business decision for these companies and we hope their experiences will send a powerful message so that other companies and their employees will benefit.”
Mercer Health & Benefits is a business of Mercer Human Resource Consulting, the global leader for trusted HR and related financial advice, products, and services. Mercer Human Resource Consulting has more than 15,700 employees serving clients from more than 190 cities and 41 countries and territories worldwide.
RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, headquartered in Bethesda, MD, is a consumer-based, nonprofit group that, since 1974, has provided education, advocacy and support to those struggling with infertility. Each year, National RESOLVE and its network of more than 40 chapters across the U.S. handle over 1.5 million contacts from people seeking information and assistance about infertility and options to address the disease, including clinical therapies, adoption and living childfree. For more information, visit the RESOLVE website at www.resolve.org.
Organon with shared head offices in Roseland, NJ, USA, and Oss, The Netherlands creates, manufactures and markets innovative prescription medicines that improve the health and quality of human life. Through a combination of independent growth and business partnerships, Organon strives to remain or become one of the leading biopharmaceutical companies in each of its core therapeutic fields: fertility, gynecology, anesthesia and neuroscience. Research areas also include immunology and oncology.
Organon products are sold in over 100 countries, of which more than 60 have an Organon subsidiary. Organon is the human health care business unit of Akzo Nobel. For more information, visit the web site at http://www.organon-usa.com/.
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