How Clinically Managed Fertility Benefits Drive Outcomes

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Fertility benefits are on the rise as employers look for new ways to attract and retain talent. 44% of employers with more than 20,000 workers offered some sort of IVF benefit in 2018, according to Mercer’s National Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health Plans, compared with 37% in 2017—and that number is expected to rise, as the demand for fertility services has hit record highs each year since 2008. 

High-quality fertility benefits are helping to drive employee retention, satisfaction, and loyalty. Employees whose companies covered their fertility treatments reported a greater feeling of loyalty toward their employers: employees are 1.5 times more likely to recommend working for their employer if they offer fertility benefits. On the flip side, over half of female employees whose companies don’t offer fertility benefits say that they would consider changing jobs to get them. 

What are ‘best-in-class’ fertility benefits? 

According to Fertility IQ’s 2016-2017 rankings of “The Best Companies to Work For as a Fertility Patient,” truly “best-in-class” fertility benefits packages are marked by the following components: 

  • No cap on the cost of fertility treatment;

  • Benefits are equally available to anyone including same-sex, LGBTQIA+ couples, and single parents by choice;

  • Employees have the freedom to choose their own clinics and providers; and 

  • Commonly-used “add-on” treatments—like pre-implantation screening, which helps minimize the rate of miscarriage—are included in coverage. 

Perhaps the most critical opportunity for companies to differentiate themselves, however, lies mostly in the “how”. 

 

Employees are 1.5 times more likely to recommend working for their employer if they offer fertility benefits.

 

Understanding the limits and outcomes of unmanaged fertility benefits

Employers can offer two types of fertility benefits: lifetime maximum benefits or clinically managed solutions. A lifetime maximum fertility benefit, or unmanaged reimbursement, is the most common, with companies providing a maximum dollar amount that they will reimburse an individual employee up to for fertility treatments, including IVF, medication, and IUI. But the money is where it stops. 

Without any guidance on how to use the reimbursement, individuals are left to navigate the complex fertility journey alone. Unmanaged fertility benefits can lead to dramatically increased claims as treatments administered without proper coordinated care and clinical guidance frequently lead to multiple births—associated with increased health risks for women and their offspring, as well as substantial financial costs to families and employers. An unmanaged benefit can also impact employee productivity, absenteeism, and mental health as the fertility journey can be draining, time-consuming, and stressful. 

What’s worse, many of these policies leave out LGBTQIA+ couples and single parents, as it’s common for plans to stipulate that employees engage in 6-12 months of heterosexual intercourse before becoming eligible for fertility treatments. 

Why clinically managed solutions are key 

To implement a more effective and inclusive fertility benefit and drive the most desired outcomes of successful pregnancies and healthy births, all at lower overall costs, companies should provide a clinically managed solution that supports employees through each step of the complex fertility process. Clinically managed solutions connect clinical experts to employees and support each individual through their own personal path to reach their goals, guiding them to the best doctors, treatments, and medications at the lowest overall cost.

Here’s how Maven’s clinically managed fertility program drives outcomes: 

  • Guidance & navigation: 24/7 Care Advocates provide individual guidance and referrals to clinics with high-success rates, helping reduce rounds for employees and spend for employers. 

  • On-demand specialists: Maven members can talk to fertility specialists including Reproductive Endocrinologists, Mental Health Providers, and Relationship Coaches, helping to reduce stress and increase work engagement; plus, Maven’s Nutritionists specialize in fertility and help improve the likelihood of success in fewer rounds.

  • Unlimited appointments: Members can book as many video chat and messaging appointments as they need to, any time, with Maven’s providers.

  • Emotional support and content: Maven provides resources, webinars, and content with clinically-approved educational information, and members can connect in community forums with other members who have had similar experiences.

A holistic, end-to-end approach like Maven means any individual employee has support, guidance, and on-demand access to clinical experts at every step of their fertility journey. 

 The Bottom Line

By offering a high-quality, clinically managed fertility benefit like Maven, companies can stand out in a tight labor market, increase employee loyalty, and demonstrate their commitment to diversity and inclusion, while driving down claims, increasing ROI, and improving fertility experiences and outcomes for individuals. 


Healthcare Solutions for Millennial Families

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Millennials make up more than a quarter of the country’s population and outnumber baby boomers by a staggering 8 million, according to the U.S. Census. Defined as anyone born between 1982 and 2000, millennials are approaching 37 years old and beginning to plan for and start their families—making them the most critical population for companies to consider when defining healthcare and benefits strategies. 

What Millennials Want from Health Benefits

For many millennials, starting a family will be their first major experience in the healthcare system, and they expect it to mirror those they regularly have as a consumer. These preferences and experiences inform how they access and engage with healthcare—a significant departure from policies that cater to baby boomers, currently ages 54-72, and generation X, currently 38-53 years old. 

Here are a few key findings that drive what we know millennials want from healthcare benefits:  

  • Virtual appointments: 74% of millennials prefer to see a doctor virtually whenever possible. Driven by this mindset, 32% of millennials report that they have avoided traditional doctor’s office visits completely for the past year. 

  • Flexible, on-demand solutions: Convenience is key for millennials, with 22% saying that “being seen by a doctor in a timely manner” is a priority when it comes to accessing healthcare. In addition, millennials prefer urgent care and drop-in retail clinics, because they offer evening and weekend hours and shorter wait-times compared to traditional doctors’ offices. 

  • Transparent pricing: 34% of millennials say their number one priority when considering healthcare is “being able to afford the care I need”, making cost transparency a key driver to seeking care. 

  • No out-of-pocket expenses: 63% of millennials report that healthcare costs are a significant source of stress in their lives, largely due to unforeseen, out-of-pocket costs.  

 

For many millennials, starting a family will be their first major experience in the healthcare system, and they expect it to mirror those they regularly have as a consumer.

 

How Maven Helps Employers 

Companies who are implementing innovative, holistic healthcare solutions that put these preferences first are setting a new standard in the war for millennial talent. Maven can help employers stand out with coordinated, end-to-end care that will engage millennials who are navigating a complex healthcare system for the very first time, while reducing claims and costs to employers. 

Here’s how Maven’s comprehensive care delivery model serves millennial needs: 

  • 24/7 care concierge: Maven’s care coordinators provide referrals and 1:1 support. 

  • Over 1400 practitioners across 20+ specialties: Maven’s network includes doctors who specialize in OB-GYN and pediatrics, as well as areas that aren’t typically covered by traditional insurance including mental health, lactation, and return-to-work. 

  • Unlimited appointments: On-demand video chat and messaging with Maven’s network is available whenever they need it, day or night. 

  • Content and community: Members can explore reliable articles and webinars, participate in provider-moderated forums, and will receive personal guides like a 61-week guide to working parenthood. 

  • Lower costs, better outcomes: With Maven, millennials no longer have to rely on urgent care clinics, which often carry high costs for employers and out-of-pocket costs for employees. 

 The Bottom Line

While millennials’ values and habits when it comes to health and wellness differ from those of other generations, they care about the healthcare that they and their families receive. By offering digital and holistic solutions with no out-of-pocket expenses like Maven, companies can better support their millennial workforce, drive employee productivity, improve health outcomes, and gain a competitive edge in attracting and retaining diverse talent. 


When Companies Invest in Career Coaching for New Parents, Everyone Wins

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Consider the statistic you may be well aware of by now: 43% of women with children leave careers or off-ramp for a period of time. Often, these women leave reluctantly, because staying in their jobs become challenging or even impossible. Of course, this outcome can be expensive for employers, as the cost of replacing an employee can be as much as 150% of her annual salary.

As more companies become aware of the challenges new parents face, many are starting to offer one-on-one coaching to help employees prepare for parental leave and navigate their transition when they return. It’s an investment that not only helps new parents immensely, but also provides numerous benefits to employers.

The Ins & Outs of Career Coaching for New Parents

By helping employees cope with issues that can drive new parents out the door, career coaches can help companies reduce turnover costs. The issues that lead new parents to quit their jobs are different for everyone, but the struggles include unreliable child care, unsupportive managers, health problems related to childbirth, separation anxiety and postpartum depression, just to name a few. Navigating these difficulties without support often makes off-ramping seem like the only viable option.

 

The issues that lead new parents to quit their jobs are different for everyone, but the struggles include unreliable child care, unsupportive managers, health problems related to childbirth, separation anxiety and postpartum depression, just to name a few.

 

On the other hand, when employees do feel supported, they are better equipped to navigate these hardships. At the same time, companies may get the benefit of increased employee productivity, lower rates of absenteeism, and a decrease in mental health-related expenses. Over time, they can also improve gender diversity among their workforce and ensure there’s greater parity at all levels of their business.

A Digital Solution

Since it can be difficult for time-strapped parents to attend in-person coaching sessions, digital solutions like the kind offered by Maven are critical. Career coaching via virtual appointments ensures that everyone who needs the support has convenient access to it.

Further, companies that arm parents with access to work coaches for one-on-one guidance recognize that the solutions parents need are not always universal. Every employee’s unique home circumstances and work situation will factor into the kind of advice and support a coach can offer.

Don’t Forget About Manager Training

As important as career coaching is, it’s only one piece of a holistic approach to creating a truly family-friendly work culture. Another key component is manager training that arms managers with the skills they need to effectively support moms and dads returning to work. Click here to learn about some of the maternal biases held by managers, and how manager training can help.

Bottom line: Investing in resources that soften the blow for new parents returning to work is a win-win for companies and employees. Click the request-a-demo button below to learn more about Maven and our comprehensive return-to-work support.