Every great Hollywood movie is based on a single theme: the Hero’s journey. The Hero has a calling, must travel a path fraught with danger, fighting dragons at every step. Everyone from Superwoman to Harry Potter has traveled this path, but they didn’t do it alone. They had a mentor, someone who had already successfully navigated the path and knew how to overcome unknown obstacles.
Today’s Parenthood Journey—the path to parenthood—is our modern-day Hero’s journey. Families want to enjoy bringing new life into the world but need help handling the pitfalls of complex healthcare systems and convoluted health insurance language around fertility services. Having a mentor who knows the ins and outs of the entire Parenthood Journey is essential to growing families.
Employers now have access to unique benefits that make employees the Hero of their own Parenthood Journey. While large employers are more likely to provide full fertility benefits that can cost over $72,000 per successful outcome, smaller employers can also offer fertility navigation benefits that attract a younger workforce that needs help to create a family. In this article, we will show how a Woodruff Sawyer client, Alteryx, was able to help their global workforce with their Parenthood Journeys by adding an innovative offering to their suite of benefits.
Parenthood Issues Are Complex
According to a Kaiser Family Foundation study, people may seek fertility advice related to male or female infertility and unknown infertility or single-parent and LGBTQ issues.
Assistance can come in the form of advice, medication, artificial insemination, or in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments. The spectrum of diagnosis, treatments, and solutions is complex and can be expensive for employers to support.
As the workforce becomes more diverse and globally dispersed, employers will need new solutions that show their commitment to inclusion, supporting employees and their fertility issues. Offering inclusive benefits that are economical can create a distinct advantage to employers.
Evaluating and Structuring Coverage: An Employer Example
Woodruff Sawyer’s client, Alteryx, wanted to explore fertility benefits to enhance their benefit offerings to their employees. We started with a benchmarking approach, using FertilityIQ and other market sources to help Alteryx make an informed decision. Our research revealed that the number of large companies who recently introduced or enhanced family-building benefits, like fertility, adoption, or fostering, has grown 8% year-over-year, approaching 800 large organizations globally. This growth indicates that fertility benefits are a valued benefit that employees want, and employers are looking for innovative ways to offer this progressive benefit.
With over 1,200 employees worldwide, Alteryx needed a fertility program that would support every unique parenthood journey. Because Carrot’s benefits were offered in all 12 countries where Alteryx operates, they provided a truly comprehensive and inclusive benefit, regardless of gender identity, LGBTQ, and single prospective parents. They found that Carrot’s Care Navigators were firmly grounded in cultural and religious sensitivities because they locally source their providers. This approach allows them to provide a relatable experience while simultaneously understanding local legislative issues that require navigation. Overall, Carrot provided the personal touch on a global level that Alteryx could offer their diverse workforce.
The benefits include an annual maximum of $15,000 with a lifetime benefit of $30,000. Employees have the flexibility to pay out of pocket and request reimbursement through the Carrot platform or can request a pre-funded Carrot Card to use upfront for eligible expenses.
Woodruff Sawyer helped Alteryx to structure the program to ensure Carrot’s compliance with US laws. Alteryx was able to structure a separate infertility reimbursement program in the US by making it a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA). This structure required that the benefit be: a) limited to only employees actually enrolled in the company’s major medical plan; or b) verified to be enrolled in another employer-sponsored group health plan to meet certain ACA standards.
If an Alteryx associate was enrolled into a HDHP medical option, the participant must meet their applicable annual deductible, currently employee-only or a family deductible, as long as the medical plan covers treatment or services. When the medical plan does not cover services, there is no need to meet the deductible, allowing the plan to be compliant with various HSA and IRS criteria. Since the benefit is structured as an HRA, Alteryx must provide COBRA election for transitioning associates.
Alteryx felt the “biggest lift” involved considerations for taxable vs. non-taxable benefits that were applied by state, US federal, and foreign country tax laws. The Woodruff-Sawyer team helped navigate these considerations. The ability to provide family-friendly, tax-savings benefits made Carrot a significant contribution to the generous suite of Alteryx benefit offerings..
Spotlight on Carrot: Navigating Fertility Issues for Employees
Fertility issues require more than just a visit to the physician’s office. Employees need assistance understanding their fertility options, from egg freezing to evaluating sperm donor options, and specialized treatments to adoption. All employees also need to read the fine print of their health insurance plan and determine the financial impact of their choice. All of these decisions can take a toll as employees deal with new physical, emotional, mental, and financial decisions that add to an already busy lifestyle.
Alleviating stressors in the Parenthood Journey helps employees make better decisions. Fertility benefit programs like Carrot Fertility help employees understand their options and make better choices. Employers can improve engagement by helping employees during a stressful time and lessening the financial impact of these momentous fertility decisions.
Carrot has successfully helped employers in over 50 countries offer clinically-managed programs that include egg freezing, in-vitro fertilization (IVF), donor and gestational services, and adoption. Carrot’s approach to coverage is unique because it enables employers to access fertility benefits with greater flexibility, transparency, and more predictable cost controls — while avoiding millions of dollars in unnecessary medical claims. Their services include:
Carrot at Home is a telehealth program that combines AI-powered predictive analytics with virtual appointments. Members can connect with more than 2,000 reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, adoption experts, mental health experts, OB/GYNs, doulas, and midwives. Carrot partners with leading companies to provide digital benefits that include at-home fertility support services for both women and men.
Carrot Rx offers members a premium virtual pharmacy experience with significant savings on essential fertility medications, convenient delivery, and personalized, high-touch support.
Carrot Pregnancy provides holistic pregnancy support, including virtual access to OB/GYNs, doulas, and midwives, and helpful resources for anxiety reduction, including prenatal yoga and meditation classes.
The Carrot Card® is a flexible fertility benefits card that employees use to pay for their care. The easy-to-use Carrot Card works like a debit card. With the Carrot Card, employees can pay at the time of service, without having to pay out-of-pocket and wait to be reimbursed.
Make Your Employees Heroes of Their Parenthood Journey
Employers can now help growing families navigate their parenthood journey by offering progressive, cost-effective fertility benefits. The Woodruff Sawyer, Alteryx, and Carrot collaboration demonstrates how employers can leverage their current health plans to help employees achieve their dream of building a family. Alteryx benefits from previously unrecognized tax benefits, making it a win-win for employer and employee.
In the past, only large employers could afford fertility benefits. Today, small- and medium-sized employers can also attract talented employees by offering innovative benefits. Experienced brokers like Woodruff Sawyer can show employers how to benchmark the latest benefits offerings, control spend, and increase employee engagement.
This one-of-a-kind Benefit Showcase provides the chance to hear directly from the innovators who are shaping the future of employee benefits.
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