While Women's History Month comes around every March, women's health care is an important subject for benefits administrators to keep in mind all year. After all, 46 percent of union members are female, according to "The Status of Women in the States" study by the Institute for Women's Policy Research.
How can benefits administrators ensure that current and future female members remain supported and satisfied by their health care options?
Be Attentive to The Full Spectrum of Women's Health Care Needs
Comprehensive health benefits that include both well-woman care and benefits for children and spouses are the gold standard in health care coverage. Members want access to family practice, OB-GYN and pediatric care for their children.
Maintaining the good health of children may be particularly important to women members, who more are likely than men to assume primary caregiving responsibilities. Because primary caregivers may have to use leave and sick days to tend to their children when they're ill, offering affordable and comprehensive pediatric care, including regular preventive care, helps keep costs for female members down.
Don't Overlook Reproductive Health Care Needs
Women members also need comprehensive reproductive health care, covering a variety of issues that arise from conditions like uterine fibroids, breast cancer and infertility, as well as access to contraceptives. Work with your benefits administrator to understand what coverage is available to your members around these key issues. For example, does your plan cover preventative mastectomies?
Regularly Consult Members Through Surveys and Health Fairs
What's the best way to determine the needs of women members? Ask them.
Surveys and health fairs at worksites are great ways to collect information from your members. Using these methods ensures that benefits administrators have accurate, timely data on member concerns and particular interests.
Worksite events also show members that the union takes their health care seriously — which, in turn, elicits loyalty and trust. This is just one more reason it pays to follow through and take concrete steps to prioritize women's health care.
Tracey Lewis, journalist and author, focuses primarily on B2B health care, financial services and other internal corporate communications. Author of a best-selling, pop-culture book published by Random House Books, and a trained oral historian, Tracey also enjoys delving into music, arts and film content. Skilled in SEO optimization and digital storytelling, she knows how to collaborate with communications, policy, research, legal and designer teams to create and execute cohesive content strategies.
This content is provided solely for informational purposes. It is not intended as and does not constitute legal advice. The information contained herein should not be relied upon or used as a substitute for consultation with legal, accounting, tax and/or other professional advisers.