Historically, fertility benefits have been seen as a nice to have vs. a must have. There are a lot of reasons for that — fertility benefits are relatively new, and they’re often not totally understood. However, as the way we pursue parenthood evolves, it’s becoming increasingly clear that fertility coverage is a critical component of health care — even though it’s typically not included in traditional insurance coverage. To address that, many states are beginning to mandate coverage; already, sixteen states have infertility insurance coverage laws in place, and that number is likely to increase in the coming years.
Not sure that now’s the time for your team to get on board? Here are a few reasons why you should consider adding fertility benefits to your offering today.
Reduce COVID-19 related anxiety and depression
Many employers address the need for fertility benefits by adding coverage to their existing health insurance. And while this comes from a well-intentioned place, these plans tend to be restrictive and involve complicated approval processes, inadvertently creating stress for their employees.
And in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the last thing employees need is another source of stress. A third of Americans are showing symptoms of depression and anxiety. And with large-scale clinic shutdowns and changes in access to fertility care, it should also come as no surprise that infertility remains a source of stress greater than the stress of the pandemic itself. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, half of women and 15% of men had said that infertility was the most upsetting experience of their lives. And half of people who have tried to get pregnant for 2+ years say they were depressed most or all of the time. Pregnant employees, too, are experiencing alarmingly high stress levels during COVID-19, driven largely by worries about their health, their baby's health, and a lack of proper prenatal care. So while COVID-19 may require us to stay home, that doesn’t mean parenthood journeys end — or that the mental health repercussions stop.
By giving employees access to mental health support tailored for family-forming journeys and pregnancy, employers can decrease stress in multiple ways by directly addressing emotional well-being on top of providing helpful guidance throughout an often-challenging process. A clinically-managed fertility benefit like Carrot — guided by a diverse team of clinicians — can proactively address stresses that may come from being pregnant with multiples and subsequent NICU care, while also offering guidance for pregnant employees concerned about health and prenatal care. And if an employer chooses to offer a financial benefit, that stress reduction multiplies, as finances are often a huge contributor to infertility-related stress. And with Carrot at Home and our telehealth support, your employees can safely pursue care and get their questions answered anytime, day or night — all from the comfort of home.
Save money on health care
Health care is expensive, and it’s only expected to get even more costly. That’s why it’s critical for employers to control costs in places where they can — fertility and childbirth being two of those key areas. A clinically managed fertility benefit can save dramatically on downstream costs of care, guiding employees towards care that increases the likelihood of a healthy singleton pregnancy while simultaneously reducing the need for more costly neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) stays. When, according to one study, a singleton birth can cost $21,000 — and up to $105,000 for twins or $400,000+ for triplets or more — the cost savings can add up quickly. At Carrot, we reduce the likelihood of multiples and subsequent NICU events often associated with IVF through a unique intervention that guides all IVF treatments towards single embryo transfers as the protocol of first evaluation.
However, it isn’t just downstream costs that fertility benefits can help offset. At Carrot, we’re also focused on reducing upstream costs of care, saving you money now. Through our Carrot at Home program, we’re giving members lower cost, less invasive options to pursue from the comfort of home in a time that access to fertility care is harder and more intense than it ever has been due to COVID-19. This access is especially critical for employees who do not have time on their side — with telehealth, they can get started immediately.
Address infertility — a disease impacting your employees now
Infertility impacts Americans at a rate higher than diabetes or breast cancer and becomes a more significant issue as people age. And despite the common misconception that infertility is solely a women’s health concern, men and women are impacted at similar rates. And for some of these employees, they may not have the luxury of time — something often required to navigate the complexities of the health insurance approval process. So why is it so much more challenging for them to get the treatment they need to address this condition?
Infertility isn’t something that can be prevented, but it is something employers can support their employees through. And that support is meaningful to your workforce — 60% of women say they would opt for a company offering fertility benefits over a company that didn’t. By providing the right level of fertility benefits, employers can showcase that they support their employees in their moment of need.
Don’t leave diversity and inclusion out of your benefits offering
Diversity and inclusion has always been important, and is only growing more so. Companies that have a highly inclusive culture notice 2.3 times more cash flow per employee, are 120% more likely to hit financial goals, and generate 1.4 times more revenue. LGBTQ+-friendly policies are at record high numbers and workplace conversations about race are becoming more common. And beyond that, 67% of job seekers consider workplace diversity an important factor when considering employment opportunities. But have you considered how your company’s diversity and inclusion philosophy is reflected in your benefits package?
The cost of pursuing parenthood falls disproportionately on women and LGBTQ+ people, who often end up paying tens of thousands of dollars out-of-pocket for services like egg freezing and adoption. And considering that most insurance-based fertility coverage requires an infertility diagnosis — defined as being unable to sexually reproduce through intercourse in a set period of time — same-sex couples and single people are left out. The right fertility benefit gives everyone — regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status — the opportunity to start a family.
And finally, are you ensuring your benefits vendors are helping your employees find culturally competent care? A growing body of research indicates that sharing a racial or cultural background with one’s physician can lead to higher patient satisfaction, better adherence to medications, and better outcomes — a key reason why, at Carrot, we offer our members the ability to request to be matched with a BIPOC provider or a provider of a specific gender at Carrot in-network facilities.
At Carrot, we offer fertility benefits programs that can be customized for every company’s needs, making fertility care accessible and affordable for more people. Ready to give your employees access to life-changing benefits? Get in touch today.