Fertility benefits are in high demand: with nearly three out of four millennials willing to change jobs for fertility coverage, employers large and small are adding fertility benefits to their employee benefits plans. Among those already offering it, some organizations are expanding their fertility benefits coverage to stand apart and compete for talent.
A fertility reimbursement benefit is a great start: the average cost of a single in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle is expected to reach $25K by 2025. More than half of patients undergo a second IVF cycle, and nearly a third go through three or more treatments.
A fragmented approach to fertility benefits is a missed opportunity
But a solution focused on reimbursement alone is also a missed opportunity. A fertility benefits point solution—one that begins and ends with covering the cost of IVF or other fertility treatment— misses a critical opportunity to make a significant, positive impact on the health of employee and employer.
By contrast, offering employees a continuous, coordinated family-building experience is a win-win. Not only is your organization more likely to stand apart in the battle for talent, but you are also more likely to see healthier outcomes, more successful back-to-work transitions, and lower healthcare costs.
Continuous support improves the family-building experience and outcomes
As Zynga and other employers have found, adopting a continuous family-building care model—spanning preconception to pregnancy and postpartum—is a win for everyone. Using Maven, for example, Zynga saw a significant reduction in the rate of C-sections and in the average NICU length of stay as pregnancies increased within their workforce,
“We’ve seen lower costs, better health outcomes for employees and their families, so that they feel more healthy and productive. It's been a great experience for our employees. That really helps us attract and retain talent."
- Bryan Aycock, Zynga Director of Benefits
Preconception care puts people on the optimal path for family building
Preconception counseling is a vital part of this model. According to Maven Medical Director and renowned reproductive endocrinologist Dr. Brian Levine, women and their partners need to assess themselves both mentally and physically before attempting to become pregnant.
However, because the vast majority of women do not receive preconception counseling from their OB-GYN or family physician, they may not be aware of risk factors or lifestyle choices that can negatively affect both fertility and healthy pregnancies. They may not be aware, for instance, that their hypertension, obesity, tobacco use, or alcohol consumption could have a major effect on their ability to conceive or on their likelihood of having a higher-risk pregnancy.
Women also may be unaware that their partners’ lifestyle choices can have similar negative effects on their pregnancies. For example, a partner’s tobacco use may expose them to secondhand smoke, could result in preterm or low-weight babies.
For couples struggling with fertility, preconception counseling helps them understand their options for starting a family rather than immediately opting for costly and time-consuming IVF or IUI treatments. They can learn more about conceiving naturally or alternative paths to pregnancy such as through egg or sperm donors.
“If you can give your employees better access to care through fertility benefits,” said Dr. Levine, “They can typically identify issues before they become problems and think about solutions before they think about costly, alternate pathways.”
Support shouldn’t end with successful fertility treatment
In fact, after a successful fertility treatment, it should be moving into full gear. Continuity of care can make a crucial difference in the well-being of a woman who becomes pregnant after going through fertility treatments. If her support is limited to fertility treatment reimbursement, she can experience a gap in support for the next stage of her maternal journey. She may find it unsettling to deal with the lag time between ending fertility treatments and having her first appointment with an in-person OB-GYN. She may also be distressed by not receiving more regular support to alleviate anxieties such as the potential for miscarriage or giving birth to multiples.
After the stress and strain of injections, medications, and worries over conception, women and men who have gone through fertility treatments usually require more care and support for both their emotional and physical concerns throughout the rest of their journey to parenthood. Offering virtual access to care advocacy and specialty providers as a complement to in-person care can address this need.
Maven’s offers care continuity throughout the family-building journey
Maven recognizes that the path to parenthood is distinct and unique to each woman and family, which is why our continuous care model offers members 24/7 access to multiple providers across the spectrum of women’s and family health, including fertility awareness educators, genetic counselors, reproductive endocrinologists, doulas, adoption counselors, surrogacy consultants, physical therapists, pediatricians, and mental health professionals. Most important, Maven provides each prospective parent with a Care Advocate, who provides ongoing and personalized guidance and support from the outset of the family-planning journey.
Maven’s members have also experienced improved outcomes from receiving continuous care rather than a fertility-benefits-based approach to family planning. For example, after getting preconception counseling, 17% of Maven members have neither needed nor received fertility treatments—either because they became pregnant naturally or made the decision to adopt instead.
To learn how we can help drive better outcomes for your aspiring parents and your organization, request a demo today.
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