At Carrot, our mission since day one has been fertility care for all, and that means ensuring that our programs are designed to support everyone, regardless of their age, race, marital status, location, income, sex, sexual orientation — or gender. Last year, Carrot led the way by expanding our offerings to be inclusive of people experiencing hormonal health challenges related to menopause and low testosterone. This year, we're proud to build on that achievement as we introduce support for another area of hormonal health: gender-affirming care (GAC).
Existing barriers to care
The heart of our mission is access. We’ve made great strides toward improving access to fertility care through our network of 10k+ providers in 130+ countries around the world. And with the Carrot app, people can get expert answers to their lifelong fertility health questions anytime, anywhere. However, access to gender-affirming care still remains an often insurmountable obstacle.
First, there's the difficulty of finding knowledgeable providers. Physicians have historically received little to no training on providing gender-inclusive, competent care — with 77% of students from 10 medical schools reporting they felt “not competent” or “somewhat not competent” in treating gender-minority patients.
A second, subtler barrier is people's hesitance to seek GAC, especially from non-specialist providers. This is unfortunately not surprising given that 70% of gender-minority adults report experiencing discrimination from healthcare providers in the past.
And third, there's the barrier posed by the limitations of insurance coverage. Even in the small percentage of employer health plans that acknowledge GAC, coverage is often minimal, delivered by providers without special training, and subject to gatekeeping. Individuals may be forced to "prove" the validity of their identity, be offered only the most basic formularies, and struggle to determine who and what is actually covered.
Increasing access to safe, specialized GAC
Carrot’s GAC offering is designed to break down all three of these barriers and connect members with personalized care that’s right for them, whether that’s education, emotional support, chats with GAC experts, specialist care, or gender-affirming hormone therapy (GAHT). Carrot also offers a comprehensive formulary and telemedicine options for those who can't access in-community care due to legislative, geographic, or safety concerns.
Making workplaces more inclusive
Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) continue to be top priorities for both companies and employees today. This is especially true as younger generations enter the workforce. A recent study found that 71% of Gen Z and 73% of millennial employees consider workforce diversity very important when considering a potential employer. The same study found that a third of LGBTQ+ employees are looking for a more inclusive employer.
As employers continue to invest in DEIB alongside recruitment and retention strategies, it’s important to prioritize benefits that support all employees. Providing GAC coverage as part of an inclusive fertility benefit is one powerful way to help all employees feel seen and supported at work.
To learn more about offering GAC coverage to your employees, contact us today.