Millennials make up 85 percent of all pregnancies, and while most will experience a healthy pregnancy, a recent analysis of Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) data show this generation is experiencing some of the highest increases in health conditions that could lead to higher risks of pregnancy and childbirth complications. Learn more and get resources to share with your employees with our free "Understanding Millennial Health and Pregnancy" PDF Fileflyer.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), External Site within a given year, 3.8 million women in the United States will become pregnant.
You may have employees who will become first-time mothers or plan to expand upon their already-growing family. And, while an employees’ pregnancy announcement is always exciting it can come with plenty of questions and added stress, too.
When an employee becomes pregnant — both the employee and the business have a lot of decisions to make within the next eight to nine months. Here are a few common example questions from both employees and employers.
- Am I considered high-risk for a pregnancy?
- As a first-time, working mother, where do I start? What support do I have?
- What does my health insurance provide for support during and after my pregnancy?
- How am I going to plan for time off and ensure all the work gets done while I’m gone?
- Who will take over this employees’ workload when they leave?
- How can I help this employee feel comfortable at work?
- What services and benefits are offered through our health insurance provider? Can I trust them to provide the answers my employee(s) need?
- What can I do to help continue the productivity of this employee over the next eight to nine months?
So what’s the solution to providing support to employees to remain healthy and productive during and after their pregnancy, all while avoiding a high price tag all around?
The answer is simple: Offer a pregnancy support program.
Why should my company offer a pregnancy support program?
By providing a pregnancy support program in your workplace, expecting employees can receive the confidence they need to navigate the complex health care system. With a pregnancy support program, your employees can get the information they need before they deliver their baby, or post-delivery such as finding an in-network pediatrician, keeping up with annual well-child visits and adding a newborn to the medical plan.
Consider these five reasons to offer a pregnancy support program for your workplace:
- Employees who are considered high-risk can receive help maintaining current conditions and avoid additional medical complications or conditions during and after their pregnancies.
- With support in place, pregnant employees can remain productive and engaged in their work.
- Absenteeism decreases due to the ease and convenience of a program where a nurse can be on the line within a matter of seconds to answer questions or concerns.
- A pregnancy support program doesn’t just stop before and during a pregnancy, it continues beyond delivery to ensure the employee remains healthy and free of concerns before returning to work.
- With a support program in place, you improve the retention among current employees and attract prospective talent.
Is a pregnancy support program limited to certain employees, e.g., high-risk employees?
Most employers who purchase a pregnancy support program make it available to all of their employees — whether the employee(s) need it or not — which could lead to unnecessary costs for your business.
However, there's a no-cost solution out there with Wellmark — who offers care targeted to the employees who need it most — all included as a part of their benefits for no additional costs.
How am I saving my employees — and company — money by offering this kind of program?
Businesses can receive a return on investment of anywhere between $1.60 and $5.19 for every dollar invested in a pregnancy program.
Thousands of dollars are spent each year in absenteeism and lost productivity for employees with high-risk pregnancies (e.g., having chronic conditions such as diabetes, and high blood pressure).
For every dollar spent on prenatal care, employees can expect savings of $3.33 for postnatal care and $4.63 in long-term morbidity costs.
Sources: WebMD, Business Group Health research publication, World Health Organization (WHO).
The value of Wellmark’s Pregnancy Support program.
This program is a personalized, one-on-one support program for employees who need it, in addition to the new, robust online resources via myWellmark®. With Wellmark's Pregnancy Support program, by logging into myWellmark, your employees have 24/7 access to new, trusted and helpful online resources like WebMD® Pregnancy Assistance, Count the Kicks® and text4babySM.
One-on-one support available when needed.
Employees with high-risk pregnancies who choose to participate in the program will have access to the support of an Advanced Care nurse throughout their pregnancy journey. These high-risk cases will be identified via the self-assessment tool on myWellmark and through claims data.
Additionally, employees who may not be experiencing a high-risk pregnancy can request a call from an Advanced Care nurse if they wish to participate.
Wellmark’s Pregnancy Support program will be available as a value-added benefit to all groups, regardless of funding arrangements. This means, self-funded groups will no longer have to purchase the program for their employees. Questions? Contact your authorized Wellmark representative or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org Send Email.