In the process of vetting fertility benefits vendors? This checklist will help to find one who can support your DEI goals.

Your employees are diverse—not only in terms of their identities, but also when it comes to their life circumstances, wants, and needs. And your fertility benefits should be a reflection of that. 

To build a diverse, equitable, and inclusive fertility benefits package, you need to choose the right vendor to partner with. One that already has the infrastructure, resources, and policies in place to support the varying needs of your workforce. 

If you’re not sure how to go about selecting a vendor, don’t worry. In this blog post, we’ll explore what you should look for when identifying a potential fertility benefits partner. 

The importance of DEI when it comes to fertility benefits

Inequities run wide and deep when it comes to healthcare—and fertility care is no exception. 

It’s well-documented that there are significant disparities in access to fertility care amongst racial minorities, as well as the LGBTQ+ community.

For instance, Black women are twice as likely to suffer from infertility but half as likely to access care as white women. LGBTQ+ individuals also face barriers to accessing fertility care since they often don’t meet definitions of “infertility” that would qualify them for covered services.

Knowing this, you want to ensure your fertility benefits aren’t widening the existing gap. The first step to prevent this from happening is to look for a fertility benefits vendor who can support your DEI goals.

What to look for in a fertility benefits vendor: A DEI checklist

With an increasing number of fertility benefits vendors on the market, it can be tricky to figure out which ones will be the right fit for your DEI needs. To help, here’s a list of characteristics you should look for when vetting potential partners: 

Access to culturally competent care

Studies show sharing a racial or cultural background with one’s physician can lead to better adherence to medications and better health outcomes. That’s why it’s essential to give your workforce access to a diverse network of providers to choose from.

Here are some questions to ask your vendor: 

  • Are the services you offer accessible to all our employees, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status?
  • Do you have the ability to connect our employees to culturally competent care? 
  • What percentage of the providers in your network are BIPOC?
  • What percentage of the patients who use your services are BIPOC?

Multiple ways to access care

Your employees have different needs and preferences when it comes to accessing care. For example, not everyone has the ability to go in for in-person appointments. That’s why offering virtual care options can be a huge help to people with disabilities, chronic illnesses, or mental health problems that make it challenging to leave the house. 

Here are some questions to ask your vendor: 

  • Do you offer a variety of ways for our employees to access care (i.e. virtually, at a clinic, at home)?
  • Do you offer telemedicine or telehealth services?
  • If it’s the former, what type of telemedicine services does your program include?

Pro tip: Keep in mind that telemedicine is different from telehealth. The former refers specifically to clinical services that can only be provided by a doctor. So if this is what you need for your employees, make sure to clarify the difference with the vendors you speak with.

Price transparency 

Another important consideration is cost. If a vendor’s services are only accessible to the highest salaried employees, then they can’t be considered equitable. In general, you want to look for a benefits partner that has a way to control costs, offer value-based care, integrate with existing health plans, and provide affordable service options (i.e. telemedicine). 

Here are some questions to ask your vendor: 

  • What is your approach to price transparency?
  • Are there any markups or fees associated with your services?
  • How do you ensure costs remain affordable, for both the company and our employees?

A holistic approach to fertility care

Fertility care doesn’t just involve the physical health of your employees—the family-building journey can be mentally and emotionally challenging as well. That’s why you need to find a vendor who takes a holistic, inclusive approach to health and offers a variety of services—from counseling to adoption coaching—to address the diverse needs of your workforce. 

Here are some questions to ask your vendor: 

  • Do you support the emotional and mental health needs of our employees, in addition to the physical? 
  • What type of holistic services, treatments, and approaches do you provide?

While your fertility benefits vendor doesn’t necessarily need to check every box, it’s important to keep all these criteria in mind to identify a partner who can grow, evolve, and scale with your organization. Curious to learn what else you should look for in an ideal fertility benefits partner? Download our eBook for more information. 

Kindbody is a new generation of women's health and fertility care. Providing you with the information you need to take control of your health and make the decisions that are right for you. We’re a community of healthcare providers, fertility specialists, and women who get it. We’re on a mission to democratize and de-stigmatize women’s health and fertility care, making it accessible, intuitive, and empowering.