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Empowering Maternal Health: 6 Strategies for Self-Funded Employers

Woman feeling satisfied because her self-funded health insurance plan prioritizes maternal health.

Highlights 

  • The U.S. has serious gaps in maternal health coverage for women compared to other industrialized nations.
  • Women of color and underserved populations are at an even higher disadvantage, with a lack of access to high-quality coverage and providers.
  • To promote maternal health at your company, you can use a self-funded health plan to implement women-focused healthcare strategies.
  • Solutions like access to specialists, educational materials, and mental health support can help you see a more productive, happier, and healthier female workforce.

 

Maternal health is at the forefront of a national crisis in the United States. From 2018 to 2022, the maternal death rate doubled, with women of color being disproportionately affected. In general, women spend 25% more time in poor health than men due to conditions related to maternal health, fertility, and menopause. Addressing this disparity could boost the global economy by $1 trillion annually by 2040.

 

Other industrialized nations fare much better when it comes to maternal health. Sweden has a maternal mortality ratio of 1 in 11,400. Norway has a maternal mortality ratio of  1 in 7,600. The U.S., comparatively, has a maternal mortality ratio 1 in 3,030. Black women in the U.S. face a much higher risk of maternal death: 1 in 1,430.

 

By self-funding your health insurance, you take more control over your employee benefits. You gain both the transparency and data to create more culturally competent care and can better prioritize maternal health.

 

The group captive makes self-funding safe and predictable for small to midsize businesses. It levels risk by pooling smaller employers with other similarly sized companies so they gain the risk predictability of large numbers. Companies with only 25 employees can gain the same risk assurance as a Fortune 500 company. The group captive makes self-funding accessible so all companies can take advantage of flexible plan design and create benefits that better prioritize women’s health.

 

Join us in celebrating Women’s History Month. Discover how self-funding health benefits gives you the flexibility to enhance women’s health and provide equal access for all women in your workforce.

 

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How Can Self-Funded Insurance Empower Maternal Health?

Women have specific health needs that aren’t well met by traditional insurance plans. Recent studies have shown disparities regarding women’s health and standard insurance coverages, including accessibility for diverse female populations.

 

The following breaks down some worrying statistics:

 

  • Only a fourth of women get treatment for menopausal issues like hot flashes, which can cost nearly $1,400 in healthcare and $770 in lost productivity per person annually.
  • Maternal and gynecology needs only account for 5% of healthcare costs.
  • Among studied health interventions, 64% put women at a disadvantage to men due to limited access or lower efficacy.
  • A 2021 study showed that non-Hispanic Black women had a maternal mortality rate three to four times higher than non-Hispanic White women.

 

Self-funding under a group captive can help address these issues among your female employees. In a group captive plan, you join forces with other businesses to share resources and reduce self-funding risks. This includes only paying for claims and services you use and purchasing stop-loss insurance to protect against high or catastrophic claims.

 

This model lets you customize your plan to meet employee needs. For example, you can offer lower copays and deductibles, maternal health coverage, and better care by partnering with specialists in women’s health.

 

a female employee feeling satisfied and empowered thanks to improved maternal health through a self-funded health insurance plan_Roundstone Insurance

 

Strategies to Promote Maternal Health

The Roundstone group captive can help you find effective strategies to improve maternal health outcomes. Working with your benefits advisor, Third-Party Administrator (TPA), and Roundstone’s  Customer Savings Investigation (CSI) Team, you can identify and implement practical solutions that address women’s health in your company.

 

These can include the following:

 

1. Educational Initiatives and Self-Advocacy

Women, especially those from disadvantaged communities, may lack the knowledge and tools to effectively care for their health. To help your female employees take control of their healthcare decisions and use their benefits, focus on strategies that promote maternal health education and self-advocacy.

 

With the help of your Roundstone team and TPA, you can:

 

  • Offer workshops on maternal health topics such as women’s health rights, nutrition for expectant mothers, and safe exercise routines during pregnancy.
  • Develop and distribute tailored educational materials so female employees understand their benefits options.
  • Provide confidential assistance for any inquiries related to maternal health benefits and claims to facilitate smooth access to benefits.

 

2. Mental Health and Emotional Support

Mental health and emotional support are crucial components of maternal health. According to a McKinsey report, depressive symptoms and anxiety disorders rank highly among the issues affecting women’s health coverage. They are often linked to menstruation, menopause, or other conditions unique to women.

 

When you are self-funded, you can tailor your plan to support the mental well-being of women in your workforce. This approach allows you to leverage the services of mental health providers, such as therapists, psychologists, or psychiatrists. These professionals can offer services like counseling, support groups, and treatments for substance use disorders.

 

You also have the opportunity to select providers who cater to the specific cultural or ethnic needs of your employees, ensuring inclusive and empathetic care. For instance, we can connect you with therapists who are women of color or focus on LGBTQ+ mental health. This can help improve employee retention and productivity through boosted mental health and satisfaction.

 

can captive insurance help your company save money

 

3. Access to Quality Care and Resources

As a self-funded employer, you can improve female employees’ access to quality care and resources.

 

You can ensure access to top-level care for all women on your team with highly-rated specialized doctors and community resources. We can help you design and implement a healthcare plan that guarantees essential service access for high-risk groups and connects with high-quality healthcare providers.

 

Roundstone partners with organizations like Rightway and CuraLinc, affiliated with Bywater, our in-house TPA, to link your employees with community or online resources. These vendors assist in narrowing employees’ focus based on their specific needs. Various innovative solutions and programs, such as culturally competent care guidance, advocacy, and education, are continually emerging to enrich discussions on maternal health.
 

4. Customized Health Programs and Interventions

Roundstone’s group captive gives you access to the CSI Dashboard for transparent claims data. This feature allows you to spot potential gaps in coverage for your employees.

 

Using this data, you can identify where to improve health support for female employees by incorporating tailored health programs for underserved groups. It also lets you continuously monitor the impact of your interventions, enabling you to refine your maternal health strategies over time so they align with your team’s needs.

 

Gemcare Wellness is a real-life case study for this type of intervention. The program helps at-risk employees reduce or reverse the onset of type II diabetes, a condition that disproportionately affects Black women. Implementing Gemcare Wellness, which offered free classes and lifestyle coaching, resulted in remarkable results.

 

Participants lost weight and improved their lifestyles, with a total loss of 123.3 pounds for all 10 employees. This highlights how focused health programs can successfully tackle specific health issues when offered as part of a health benefits package.

 

5. Leverage Self-Funded Plans to Transform Your Maternal Healthcare Strategy

The beauty of a self-funded plan is that it is your plan to design. You can customize your benefits to better meet the needs of your employees — and that includes prioritizing women’s health in ways that can transform your maternal healthcare strategy.

 

Benefits can include free breast cancer screenings, affordable access to contraception, and generous maternity leave. You can also provide access to doula services as well as cover prenatal, delivery, and postnatal care, ensuring expectant mothers receive the support they need without the financial burden.

 

6. Empower Your Female Workforce with Practical Strategies to Enhance Maternal Health

Employers can implement practical strategies that improve maternal and mental health in women, boosting productivity in the workplace.

 

Implementing flexible work arrangements such as telecommuting or adjustable hours can significantly reduce stress and accommodate medical appointments or pregnancy-related needs. Offering extended maternity leave beyond the statutory requirement enables mothers to recover and bond with their newborns, fostering a positive work-life balance.

 

Equally important, access to mental health support through Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) can provide crucial support for maternal mental health issues, including postpartum depression. By adopting these measures, companies not only enhance the health and satisfaction of their employees but also cultivate a more inclusive, supportive, and productive workplace environment.

 

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Speak With Roundstone Today

One of the main advantages of self-funding in a group captive is the freedom and flexibility to create your own plan. With a more personalized approach, you can make a tangible difference in maternal health for women in your organization.

 

ROUNDSTONE is an innovative employee health benefits company. We help small and midsize organizations offer competitive benefits at a lower cost by self-funding health insurance through our group medical captive. The Roundstone Captive enables companies to self-insure safely by pooling hundreds of employers together to share risk and save money.

 

With easy onboarding and personalized support every step of the way, the Roundstone Captive offers control, flexibility, and transparency and returns all savings to employers,  where they belong. We believe in always aligning with the employers’ best interests and remain committed to our mission — quality, affordable healthcare and a better life for all.

 

Speak with a Roundstone representative today.

 

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