Maven, a women-focused healthcare startup, is thriving in a post-Roe world

Women account for half of consumers, have power over 80% of household financial decisions and make 70% of health-related decisions in their families – but their access to appropriate health care is often limited.

Especially in the post-Roe world, women are increasingly turning to their employers for appropriate health care for themselves and their families. Maven Clinic, a virtual women’s and family clinic, enables companies to offer their employees a wide online network of fertility, pregnancy, adoption, parenting and pediatric services.

“With our platform, patients have access to all these different types of care providers—adoption coach, surrogacy coach, OB/GYN, midwife, doula—they can get quick support within 10, 20 minutes, whatever they’re talking to people they trust who are sharing their lived experiences,” Kate Ryder, CEO and founder of Maven Clinic, told CNBC reporter Leslie Picker at the CNBC Work Summit on Wednesday. “Our care advocates help them navigate benefits or laws and ask if their health plans have done anything to add them to this new and changed landscape.”

Ryder’s goal for Maven is to put women first when it comes to their healthcare, filling any gaps they may experience. It is the largest virtual service platform for women and families.

“Women’s and family health has always been underserved,” Ryder said.

Since Ryder founded Maven Clinic in 2014, the company has raised more than $200 million and is valued at $1 billion after its latest funding round in August 2021, making it the first startup focused on women’s health to be reached this milestone. Its services have helped support more than 15 million members in over 175 countries, and the platform supports over 30 provider specialties in 30 provider languages. The Maven Clinic was ranked #19 on CNBC’s 2022 Disruptor 50 list.

Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, the company has seen a 67 percent increase in opportunities from companies seeking travel benefits and other health support for pregnant women.

Ryder said the Maven Clinic is anticipating the overturning of Roe v. Wade after SB-8 in Texas in 2021, which banned virtually all abortions and abortion-related health care after six weeks.

“Because we’ve been in the market, because we’ve had a platform that we’ve been able to access, we’ve been able to jump forward and ramp up with our products,” Ryder said.

Maven Clinic has seen a broader increase in demand for its products over the past two years amid a pandemic and tight job market, which it attributes to the accessibility of its virtual platform as well as its outspoken support for health equity.

Amid the Great Resignation, more companies are adding maternity benefits to their list of benefits to stay competitive as part of diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. Services such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) are offered at 42% of large US employers and 27% of small employers as of 2020, and 19% of large employers and 11% of small employers offer egg freezing.

In addition, 80% of people say they consider a company’s DEI efforts when considering an employer, and 40% of people would be willing to change jobs if they felt their employer did not prioritize reproductive rights, according to Ryder.

“All the major medical associations have come out … saying this is an access to health care issue, a health care issue,” Ryder said. “It’s also the right thing to do – to make sure that your families, at a time when they’re really vulnerable, get all the right access and support.”

The Covid-19 pandemic has also disproportionately affected communities of lower economic status and people of color, hampering their ability to find appropriate care.

The pandemic has also seen an exodus of female employees, as well as female leaders leaving companies and changing jobs at some of the highest rates seen in years. The number of women in the workforce is now similar to the numbers of the 1980s, reversing decades of progress.

“If you’re a business trying to increase your bottom line, it’s about people,” Ryder said. “It’s about equity in health care and how, for example, if you have a large virtual care platform, it’s easier to really handle that because you have a chance to have a provider workforce.”

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