Health Benefits Nation

Health Benefits Nation

September 26-28, 2023 | The Royal Sonesta Houston Galleria, Houston TX

Fast Five Interview

Lizzie Wright
Director of Customer Success
Carrot Fertility

Q: What is the top challenge or obstacle facing healthcare today?

A: When it comes to fertility healthcare, accessibility and affordability are major obstacles. More than 150 million Americans gain access to health coverage through their employers, yet most people who undergo fertility treatments have little to no insurance coverage.

For example, for IVF to be covered by most health insurance, it needs to be a heterosexual, cisgender couple proving that they’ve been trying to get pregnant through regular intercourse for at least six months to a year with no resulting pregnancy. That automatically excludes many people from coverage such as LGBTQ+ couples and single-intending parents, and with IVF costing more than $20,000 on average, it is extremely cost-prohibitive for most people.

This is one of the reasons why I was drawn to my role at Carrot. Since day one, our company mission has been to make fertility healthcare accessible and affordable to all regardless of age, race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or geography. We now cover more than a million lives globally to help more people access the fertility care they need.

Q: What do you feel are the key drivers of healthcare transformation?

A: People harnessing their passion to challenge the status quo and advocate for more inclusivity – from consumers to providers and benefits leaders – are driving important changes in healthcare. 

If you look at fertility benefits as an example, when companies first started offering these benefits they were mostly limited to egg freezing and IVF, but those treatment options don’t meet everyone’s needs.  For LGBTQ+ couples or single women and men, they may need access to options such as gestational carrier services, adoption, and donor-assisted reproduction. Over the last several years, we’ve seen more employers understand the need for inclusive fertility benefits thanks to people in their organizations advocating for these changes. 

Q: What are the top priorities for your organization this year?

A: This year, we’re focused on two key priorities to best support our customers and members. The first is delivering a more personalized experience for our members and the second is rolling out age-inclusive benefits with the addition of menopause and low testosterone support. 

Fertility and family-forming care is a fundamental part of healthcare but not a one-size-fits-all experience. At Carrot, we wanted to make it easier for members globally to understand what to do each step of the way and conveniently access the specific resources they needed to move forward in their fertility and family-forming journeys. Enter Carrot Plans — personalized guides with over 200,000 possible combinations of options, each tailored to an individual Carrot member’s specific needs, goals, and health concerns. Our Carrot experts consider factors like medical history, age, sex, gender identity, and location to develop each unique plan. Depending on someone’s path and profile, their plan might include educational resources, tips on finding local clinics, guidance on experts to talk to, information on how to access medication through Carrot Rx, and more. After a Carrot member receives their plan, experts are available to offer unlimited one-on-one support throughout their journey.

In addition to rolling out Carrot Plans, earlier this year we announced a new line of clinically-validated, age-inclusive fertility benefits for employees going through every stage of menopause and low testosterone. Carrot customers now have the option to add comprehensive support for menopause and low testosterone as part of their fertility benefits package. 

Approximately 40% of men age 45+ experience low testosterone, and an estimated 1.3 million women in the U.S. alone enter menopause each year, with millions more experiencing perimenopause. Unfortunately, this area of care is especially stigmatized, and many end up suffering in silence or bouncing around the healthcare system. Our goal is to change that by providing better support to people as they navigate the hormonal aging process. 

Q: What does employee well-being mean to you?

A: Employee well-being means fostering an environment of openness, support, and compassion. I want every person, both employed at Carrot or with one of our incredible customers, to have a workplace that supports every facet of their lives. Well-being is the security of knowing that you have a suite of benefits that will meet your needs, no matter what they are. Employee well-being means that you’re equipped to do the best work possible and empowered to step away and take time to recharge or receive the care you need. I’m thrilled that at Carrot we both support our customers in building supportive work environments and work hard to create the same for our team.

Q: What has you most optimistic about the future of healthcare?

A: Looking back 5-10 years, most people didn’t have fertility healthcare benefits through their employers. Fast forward to today, we’re on the way to fertility being table stakes for employee benefits packages. The rate of change is energizing and I love the passion my fellow Carrot colleagues bring to the table every single day. I also love that flexibility and inclusivity are becoming more and more common in the benefits space. Benefits should be adaptable to the varying needs of those using it and I’m proud to work in a subset of healthcare that is pioneering that view. I don’t know what the fertility care landscape, or healthcare in general, will look like 10 or 20 years from now. But, I have no doubt that the many passionate and talented people I’m lucky enough to work with every day will accomplish great things!