Employee Benefits

The importance of women’s health concerns in employee benefits design

May 1, 2024

Alera Group's May 16 webinar will focus on how employer can offer solutions to women's health needs through their employee benefits program.

Women’s Health Month 2024 coincides with jarring controversy and growing concern over challenges and inequities regarding women’s health in general and one area in particular: maternal health.  

Maternal health will be among the primary topics when Alera Group hosts the May event in its Engage series of webinars, “Supporting Women’s Health Month: Trending Employee Benefits.” During the May 16 event, we’ll also cover: 

  • Benefits and workplace policies that support women and their families, from pre-conception through return to work; 
  • Questions employers should be asking themselves in considering how to address women’s health issues;  
  • The kinds of resources employers should make available to their workforce, including considerations for mental and behavioral health services; 
  • How women’s health benefits bolster DEI strategies and how employers should consider race and socioeconomic status when determining benefit offerings; 
  • Accommodations employers can make available to their female employees, including accommodations related to maternity. 
  • Free stuff — i.e., the resources, many of them underutilized, some insurance carriers make available to their clients. 

Attendees will come away with a punch list of action items to check off as they craft a benefits program that addresses the needs of their organization and all of its employees, including women. 

One component the webinar will NOT include is legal advice. Designing a quality employee benefits program requires review from counsel. We recommend that you consult with your attorney regarding matters of compliance with federal and local regulations, including those regarding new rights for pregnant workers

Preventable deaths 

This year’s Women’s Health Month, and our May 16 webinar, couldn’t be more timely, given developments of the past two years.  

Since 2022, the Associated Press recently reported, “One woman miscarried in the lobby restroom of a Texas emergency room as front desk staff refused to check her in. Another woman learned that her fetus had no heartbeat at a Florida hospital, the day after a security guard turned her away from the facility. And in North Carolina, a woman gave birth in a car after an emergency room couldn’t offer an ultrasound. The baby later died.” 

While federal mandates require emergency rooms to treat pregnant women, complaints that pregnant women have been refused care have spiked since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022, the AP reported. But deficiencies in women’s healthcare predate the Supreme Court decision and extend well beyond fearful emergency rooms. 

The shocking death of American Olympic champion Torie Bowie during childbirth last May at the age of 32 brought into stark relief the maternal health crisis facing Black women in particular. 

In June 2023, an autopsy report attributed Bowie’s death, eight months into her pregnancy, to complications including respiratory distress and eclampsia. According to The New York Times, “Sheriff’s deputies in Orange County, Fla., conducted a wellness check on Bowie on May 2 after she had not been seen or heard from in several days.” Her baby also died.  

Introducing an interview with the director of Boston University’s Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health, the university publication BU Today placed Bowie’s death in the context of a the maternal mortality crisis in the United States, especially for Black women. 

“The United States has the highest maternal mortality rate among high-income countries, and the crisis is getting worse,” BU Today reported. “The number of maternal deaths rose from 17.4 per 100,000 live births in 2018 to 32.9 in 2021. That rate is driven by the deaths of Black women, who are 2.6 times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes in the United States than are white women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.” 

Available solutions 

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) specifically singles out the week beginning with Mother’s Day – which this year falls on May 12 – as National Women’s Health Week. This year’s observance includes a theme for each day of the week: 

  • Sunday, May 12: Empowering Women in Their Health Journey 
  • Monday, May 13: Safe Sexual Health 
  • Tuesday, May 14: Shining a Light on Maternal Mental Health 
  • Wednesday, May 15: Talk About It — Reducing Women’s Health Stigma 
  • Thursday, May 16: Understanding Care Is There 
  • Friday, May 17: Reproductive Health From Puberty to Menopause and Beyond 
  • Saturday, May 18: Women and Heart Health. 

It’s fitting that Alera Group’s women’s health webinar coincides with HHS’s May 16 theme, “Understanding Care Is There.” While challenges to providing care are significant — including a critical shortage of primary care physicians — it can be made available. Our webinar will help you design a program that addresses the needs of your employees and connects them with the corresponding services and providers. 

Remember: Solutions start with listening to your employees, to find out what their greatest needs and challenges are. One solution to the primary care shortage, for example, is a robust telehealth program that provides all employees with the same access. For pregnant women and those with newborns, services may include round-the-clock availability of birth doulas and 24-hour access to lactation consultants.  

Listen, learn, deliver 

Your employees are your greatest source of information on their needs. Our webinar will help you craft a program that serves them. 

Our panel of experts includes:  

To register, click on the link below. 



About the author 

Elisabeth Euglow 
Director, Total Wellbeing and Engagement 
Alera Group 

A strategic employee engagement and wellbeing leader, Liz Euglow partners with organizations and HR leaders to deliver holistic benefits and wellbeing strategies aimed at recruiting and retaining top talent while also improving population health and mitigating risk. Her focus is on crafting human-centric programs and shaping workplace cultures to support a thriving employee population. 

Contact information: