About ten years ago, I was sitting at a table surrounded by senior women leaders at a tech company where I worked. This was the monthly executive female leader networking dinner that I managed, and I eagerly anticipated rubbing shoulders with experienced and powerful women at the top of their game.

What caught my attention on this particular evening was how a small group was talking about menopause. They were speaking in hushed tones as they talked about lack of sleep, inability to come to work because of extreme periods, and their growing waistlines.

It dawned on me that this community had transitioned from talking about babies, maternity leave and childcare to sharing experiences about a new phase in life. One that was starting to impact their careers and job performance.

Since that moment, there has been a mantra roaming about my head that I just can’t get rid of. How do we change the face of workplace benefits to support women in menopause? Little did I know that I would get to be part of that change years later.

Today, Gennev joins forces with Progyny to bring menopause care to the workplace. This care goes beyond work leave policies, educational sessions, and community forums, to bring menopause-trained OB/GYNs and Registered Dietitian Nutritionists to workplace benefits. 

Let me be more clear, this means that specialty menopause care will be covered for employees and their dependents. Gennev and Progyny make it possible for women to effectively advance in their careers and manage their changing health and well-being at the same time.

Why are Menopause Workplace Benefits Important?

If you’re a woman, you’re likely to respond, “…because I’m worth it!” In all seriousness, the number one reason for providing employees and their dependents access to menopause-trained OB/GYNs and Registered Dietitians is to improve their quality of life.  We know from talking with our patients that 89% experience menopause symptom improvement after working with our clinicians. 

I’ve also heard how menopause care improves the ability to perform in their jobs. “Life-changing” and “I got my brain back” are common pieces of feedback. A patient who has been working with a Gennev OB/GYN and a Dietitian for three years recently told us that she “felt like herself again.” You can’t put a number on results like that!

Most importantly, menopause care prevents downstream health concerns commonly triggered during the menopause transition, including cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, mental health and depression.

In July 2023, Gennev commissioned a study through Milliman on the healthcare costs of menopause, and found that medical and prescription costs for women ages 45-54 with menopausal symptoms are 47% higher compared to women of the same age not experiencing menopause. The expense for these women comes to $1,243 per patient per month compared to $848 per patient per month, respectively. 

Now, from the perspective of a business decision maker who needs to manage employee benefits within a budget, here’s a nugget that underscores the case for menopause-covered benefits delivered by Gennev: you will see upwards of 71% cost savings in healthcare cost per person experiencing menopause. 

What’s more, according to an April 2023 report from the Mayo Clinic, menopause is costing employers an estimated $1.8 billion in lost work time per year and $26.6 billion annually when medical expenses are added, in the U.S. alone. It’s tough to argue the math when the costs are real.

In a market where women of menopause age comprise 20% of the U.S. workforce and unemployment among women is at an all-time low of 3.4%, employers need women. Not only that, but companies need women in their 40s, 50s, and 60s who are skilled workers and experienced leaders. 

Offering targeted menopause benefits can be a strategic advantage for talent acquisition and retention. For current employees, it fosters a supportive and inclusive culture that empowers women to excel professionally. For hiring, particularly given how competitive the labor market is, providing comprehensive support for women in this stage of life can truly set an employer apart. 

What Can You Do?

If you’re a working woman—whether you’re of menopause age or not—forward this article to your human resources team. Gennev has seen women rise up on several occasions and advocate for specialty menopause care coverage under their workplace benefits. And it works. We hear from large and small companies who are leaning on their Health Plans to expand coverage for menopause care provided by companies like Gennev. We’ve seen workplace benefits and support for mental health and well-being significantly evolve over the past decade. Why should menopause be any different? 

If you’re an employer, examine the costs you may be incurring. When I speak with employers, I commonly ask how much they’re spending on health coverage for employees and dependents in the menopause time of life. Most often, their response is, “I don’t know.” 

If you need support diving into the numbers, examining near-term and long-term benefits you can offer for menopause care, you can learn more by reading the Gennev Workplace Benefits Whitepaper. If you would prefer to meet with a Gennev workplace specialist, please email partnerships@gennev.com or call 206.894.4292

Author

Jill Angelo

August 4, 2023

Medically Reviewed By

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