A tool is only impactful if individuals understand how to use it. The same is true of a company’s maternity and family building benefits. The benefit as a tool must be in place for employees, but engaging the right people with those offerings is what drives real impact on individual lives and employers’ healthcare costs.
Earlier this month, our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Janet Choi, and our EVP, Strategic Sales and Partnerships, Julie Stadlbauer, spoke at Silicon Valley Employers Forum’s annual Bay Area Benefits Summit alongside Cilicia Conley, a benefits manager at Niagara Bottling. They spent time answering two critical questions:
- Why is it important for employers to adopt holistic benefits programs that run the spectrum of maternity and family building?
- Once those benefits are in place, how do we increase engagement with that benefit among the right people to ensure those crucial tools are being used to make an impact?
If you weren’t able to make their session, we have the key takeaways you need to know.
Taking on the Challenges Throughout the Reproductive Healthcare Journey
Women face major gaps in healthcare. Need proof? Here’s just some of what we know:
- Inefficient use of healthcare spend: Women use two times the healthcare dollars as men, in part due to misdiagnosed or overlooked conditions1.
- Care inequities: Women and people of color experience more bias or gaslighting of symptoms in healthcare. 21% of women surveyed stated healthcare providers dismissed their concerns (vs 12% of males), while over 30% of Black women stated their concerns were disregarded by their providers2.
- High-risk women experience fragmented care: One in five women are impacted by infertility and 25% of women of child-bearing age report having two or more chronic conditions3.
These gaps lead to adverse health events and increased healthcare spending costs, as a result of high-risk maternity costs and NICU admissions.
So how do we provide holistic benefit solutions that work to close this gap and begin to make a real impact on your workforce and healthcare spending? It starts with understanding the many paths that take shape throughout the reproductive healthcare journey – from preconception to menopause – and what challenges currently exist within those stages.
- Challenge: Underlying conditions are not being identified early enough. The preconception stage is the ideal time to understand what an individual needs for a healthy pregnancy journey.
- Solution: An evidence-based care program with a proactive focus on underlying health conditions and 1:1 guidance.
- Challenge: Ineffective and restrictive benefit designs, including dollar caps, lead to cost-based rather than value-based care decisions to achieve pregnancy.
- Solution: Equitable benefit design in conjunction with an actively managed high quality provider network, with clinically integrated member support.
Pregnancy and Postpartum
- Challenge: Providers are focused on the pregnancy and delivery instead of the overall health of the mother during and after pregnancy, which means it’s harder to identify and engage with high-risk individuals early on.
- Solution: Program that identifies and engages early on with those who are high-risk and continues the focus on overall health of the mother during and after pregnancy.
- Challenge: A lack of providers, network access and an appropriate understanding of support or treatment options means many conditions are not discussed and adequately treated.
- Solution: Program with specialized providers and increased network access, with education and digital tools that are connected to the overall health journey.
From Understanding to Engagement
Understanding why these benefits matter and how to build these holistic programs is a critical first step, but it’s the engagement of the right people that drives results. Progyny’s end-to-end benefits solutions reach members in whichever stage of the reproductive healthcare journey they are in, and ensures members are engaged early and often.
For example, your high-risk pregnancy population is your significant driver of maternity and neonatal costs, and it’s exactly this population that Progyny engages earlier and more actively than any other solution in the market. By engaging with this population first, as well as providing access, support, and guidance for low-risk members alike, you can expect high-quality, mutually beneficial outcomes.
To date, over 380 leading employers have partnered with Progyny, including Niagara Bottling whose Benefits Manager, Cilicia Conley, joined the Progyny team at the Bay Area Benefits Summit to speak about her experience with the program. To date, nearly 100 Niagara Bottling team members have been supported in their family building journeys, with over 20 babies being born using the Progyny benefit!
Building a holistic care program means:
- Thinking more broadly about the journey and employee needs before family building starts.
- Developing programming and support for those with underlying health conditions.
- Creating a fertility benefit that is equitable and covers care in the same manner as other complex medical conditions.
- Building programming to focus on and engage high-risk population.
To learn more about Progyny’s end-to-end solutions from preconception through postpartum, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Need for Impactful Fertility Benefits [PDF]
3CDC (for heterosexual women), https://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/infertility/index.ht, https://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/issue-briefs/2022/apr/health-and-health-care-women-reproductive-age