Pregnancy Benefits: What Does Your Maternity Insurance Cover?

Stephanie Dwilson

Pregnancy Benefits: What Does Your Maternity Insurance Cover?

What type of pregnancy benefits should your business offer? To know how to answer this question, it’s crucial to keep up with current trends. Doing so allows you both to offer the best care possible to your employees and to stay competitive in an environment where health benefits are an increasingly important part of applicants’ final job decisions.

Here’s what you need to keep your offerings in sync with the latest trends in fertility, pregnancy and parental benefits.

America’s Changing Fertility Rates

According to The New York Times, the U.S. fertility rate is at a record low as more and more millennial women decide either not to have children or to delay becoming pregnant. At the same time, the birth rate among women over 40 and highly educated women is increasing. Two decades ago, 65 percent of women with professional degrees or doctorates had a child by the age of 44. Today that number is up to 80 percent.

Now, Fertility Benefits Are More Relevant Than Ever

These changing demographics can affect how relevant fertility treatments are to your staff. A woman’s ability to conceive begins to decline around age 32. As more women decide to start families later, they may rely more heavily on fertility treatments, and therefore be more motivated to stay with employers who make those treatments financially feasible.

Offering insurance that covers fertility treatments can make a big difference in your employees’ lives, as they can be extremely expensive to cover out of pocket.

Look Into Adoption and Surrogacy Benefits

There are lots of routes to parenthood, so consider adoption and surrogacy benefits, too. Many companies are already offering benefits around these options. For example, Pinterest offers reimbursements of up to $5,000 for any employee who adopts a child. You can also offer to cover legal fees or travel expenses for adoptions. Employees who adopt internationally, for example, are likely to benefit from the coverage.

Offer Generous Parental Leave

One big trend is generous paid parental leave — and not just for new mothers, but for new dads, too. Offering paid leave lets employees know that your organization cares about them as a whole person and will do what it takes to ensure they can stay at the organization as their family grows.

Pinterest, again, offers four months of paid parental leave that can be taken at any time over a year, and Netflix offers up to a year of leave. If you can’t shoulder quite that much leave, considering including a “transitional” phase that lets new parents work part time while adjusting to returning to their jobs.

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Read the Fine Print

Despite being mandated by the Affordable Care Act, not all maternity coverage is of equality quality. As the laws around health care continue to change, it’s important to stay on top of what developments may mean for your plan and your employees. Always carefully read plan documents and encourage your employees to do the same.

Ask a health insurance agent to help you understand the differences in maternity coverage from plan to plan. For example, you’ll want to find out if your insurance covers prenatal care and screening, high-risk pregnancies, labor outside of a hospital and neonatal care. Consider prioritizing strong mental health coverage or a wellness program that includes counseling, since many women face postpartum depression.

Talk to a health care agent about enhancing your coverage’s pregnancy benefits. You might be able to offer tiers of insurance, allowing your employees to choose what they want. Or you might be able to offer supplemental insurance that covers special circumstances. Understanding the current trends in fertility rates and pregnancy choices can help you be more creative in the pregnancy benefits your business provides, helping your business stand out from the competition when it comes to attracting new talent and keeping your current staff loyal, healthy and happy.

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