BLOOMFIELD, Conn., Feb. 24, 2021 - Evernorth, the health services segment of Cigna Corporation, today released the results of a new survey that shows the majority of women with employer-based health insurance are continuing their plans to expand their families, nearly a year after the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the United States. Nearly 20 percent of respondents ages 35-45 now want to have more children than they did prior to the pandemic.
"Evernorth set out to understand the impact that months of coping with jobs, virtual school, myriad other household responsibilities, and an altogether different home environment had on women's desire to have children in the wake of the pandemic," said Kajaal Patel, R.Ph, director of product management for Freedom Fertility Pharmacy, a part of Evernorth. "Despite facing extraordinary challenges, the majority of women we surveyed are not changing their plans to grow their families, and in fact, up to 25 percent are accelerating their plans. Evernorth will continue to monitor this and other evolving trends influenced by the pandemic, especially those that may impact families, employers and our health care system in the coming year."
Notable family planning trends according to the Evernorth survey include:
Use of fertility treatments sustained and even increased: Of the women surveyed who are currently undergoing fertility treatments, nearly half began during the pandemic. Of those who stopped treatments during the pandemic, 75 percent say they have already restarted or plan to restart within one year. According to internal Evernorth claims data, there was a three percent increase in fertility prescriptions for the year compared to 2019 – a steady increase in claims despite the pandemic.
Increased sexual activity, decreased used of prescription contraceptives: Since the start of the pandemic, nearly 40 percent of respondents – including those that wanted fewer or no more children – reported increased sexual activity and reported a 10 percent decrease in birth control usage.
Demand for comprehensive fertility coverage growing: Given the number of women 35-45 indicating an increased desire to grow their family, Evernorth expects comprehensive fertility coverage will continue to be a top demand on employers. Three out of four women report interest in fertility benefits from their insurance plan or employer – yet, it is a benefit not as frequently offered as others. According to our latest research, one in three women would change or encourage their partner to change jobs for better pregnancy, fertility treatment and adoption coverage.
"For the growing number of women in their late 30s and early 40s expressing a desire to have more children, comprehensive fertility benefits can offer a safer and more affordable path to parenthood," said Heather Trimble, vice president of product development at eviCore healthcare, a part of Evernorth. "Employers need to prepare for the fact that the demand for broader family-building benefits is only going to increase in the years ahead. Better fertility management can help solve common challenges and ultimately lead to more affordable care and healthier families, which is what we've designed our FamilyPath solution to do."
Of the women who are choosing to delay or have no more children, 80 percent identified practical or financial factors as the primary driver of their decision. Meanwhile, 54 percent of the women who are eager to expand their families say it because the pandemic has helped them recognize the importance of family, while 42 percent say it is because they have more flexibility and time at home.
To read the full report visit: https://www.evernorth.com/covid-19-family-planning-report
To learn more about Evernorth's FamilyPathSM, a comprehensive fertility benefits solution, visit: https://www.familypathbenefits.com/familypath.html
Evernorth is Cigna's growing, high-performing health services portfolio. The Evernorth brand is anchored by Evernorth Health, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cigna Corporation, and the parent company of the Express Scripts, Accredo, and eviCore companies. Evernorth brings together and coordinates premier health services offerings to deliver innovative and flexible solutions for health plans, employers, and government programs. All Evernorth solutions are serviced and provided by or through operating affiliates of Evernorth Health or third-party partners. To learn more about Evernorth, visit https://www.Evernorth.com/
Justine SessionsDirector, External Affairs