Stork Club creates maternity care for modern families
Competitive employers need to make it possible for workers to build families on their own terms, says Jeni Mayorskaya, the founder and CEO of Stork Club, a parental benefit startup.
Stork Club acts as supplemental insurance to cover medical and legal processes associated with family planning, that aren’t typically covered by traditional insurance. Coverage includes diagnostics, egg and sperm freezing, IVF, surrogacy, adoption, childbirth with doulas and breastfeeding support. Mayorskaya says this coverage is specifically designed to help career women and the LGBTQ+ community. Last week, the San Francisco-based company announced it received $2.7 million in seed funding from multiple investors to launch their platform.
“Maternity care was designed 50 years ago for a young heterosexual family where the mother stayed home. That’s not today’s family,” Mayorskaya says. “By partnering with top providers directly and providing a continuity of care, we give people the freedom to have a family on their terms, guide them to better outcomes and help businesses save millions of dollars per year.”
Stork Club is primarily designed for self-insured employers, but their offerings are also compatible with employers using traditional insurance. The company’s investors say what makes Stork Club unique is the way the platform helps users plan how and when to start a family, based on their personal goals. It may suggest, for example, that a female employee who wants to put off having children consider egg freezing, then IVF later down the road. The platform also contains healthcare resources and information for every stage of family planning, including preconception, pregnancy, postpartum and newborn care.
“Building a solution aimed at addressing the entire maternity journey has the potential to deliver the best outcomes at the lowest cost,” says Will Quist, partner at Slow Ventures — an investor of Stork Club.
Only 19% of companies currently offer IVF coverage — down from 27% in 2018 — and only 2% of employers offer egg freezing services in their benefits package, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. With often exorbitant costs for treatment, providing these benefits is crucial to the 68% of employees who say they’d be willing to change jobs for fertility benefits, according to a Stork Club survey.
The company says it’s able to help significantly reduce employer costs by only covering “top rated” fertility and maternity specialists that have lower complication rates. For fertility treatments, that means using providers who only implant one fertilized egg at a time to prevent twin and triplet births, and deciding whether or not expensive IVF treatments are the best plan of action.
“Within maternity care, a lot of the focus has been on improving acute treatments. What is compelling about Stork Club is that they are looking at maternity care holistically,” Quist says. “Providing best-in-class access to IVF is important and can deliver better results at a lower cost, but Stork Club is asking ‘have we done everything we can to avoid IVF altogether?’”
Stork Club’s founder says it’s important to include IVF treatment in fertility benefits because sometimes it’s the only option for LGBTQ employees.
“Healthcare is a cost problem for businesses, so much so, businesses are looking for alternatives. Businesses are shifting towards directly sourcing healthcare to reduce costs, and maternity care is one of their top priorities,” says Loren Straub, principal at Bowery Capital — an investor of Stork Club. “Stork Club solves the cost problem while simultaneously helping businesses retain top talent and create a more inclusive and diverse workplace.”