Health Business

BCBS of Michigan teams up with Maven Clinic for virtual family, maternity care

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is partnering with Maven Clinic, a digital family health platform, to offer members additional family and maternity support, the health plan announced Wednesday. Maven Clinic’s platform will be available for the 2023 open enrollment period.

Members of the insurer can use New York City-based Maven’s app. Once they log on and confirm they are part of BCBSM, they get access to 24/7 virtual care with Maven’s care advocates, who answer questions and help direct users to their needed services. Members can receive virtual clinical support from specialty providers, including obstetricians, pediatricians, lactation consultants, pediatric sleep coaches and psychologists.

The platform includes care matching, in which users can find care advocates and virtual coaches based on identity, race, ethnicity, faith-based orientation and LBGTQ status, said Aji Abraham, senior vice president of health plan business innovation and market solutions at BCBSM.

“Our goal is to support all paths to parenthood including support for expectant moms, dads, same-sex partners, transgender people and single parents,” Abraham said.

Maven offers three programs through the platform: family building, maternity, and parenting and pediatrics, according to a news release. The family building program provides resources for fertility treatment, preconception care, egg freezing, adoption and surrogacy. The maternity program, which spans 12 months, gives resources for prenatal and postpartum care, NICU support and high-risk pregnancies. The parenting and pediatrics program is intended for parents with children ages 1 through 10 in need of pediatric care, parent coaching and special needs support.

A reimbursement tool, called Maven Wallet, is available on the app, which allows employees of self-funded employers to get reimbursed for expenses.

If members need in-person care, the clinic directs users to in-network providers. Maven’s resources are meant to be an extension of BCBSM’s current benefits and to provide additional support in between regular in-person appointments.

Employer groups will only pay for members who are using the Maven platform, rather than based on total membership, Abraham said. BCBSM will then pay Maven and process claims for members who are cared for. The payment model is a departure from how several employee benefits companies get paid from employers who offer their products and services to employers. Usually, employers pay them on a per member per month rate based on total employees irrespective of how many are actually using the product. 

Maven, which achieved unicorn status last year, isn’t the only company in the digital maternity and parenthood space. Other companies include Ovia Health and Progyny.

BCBSM chose to work with Maven because of its proven track record, Abraham said. In its eight years of experience, the tech company has achieved a 20% reduction in cesarean sections and a 28% decrease in NICU stays.

Other than impressive outcomes, Abraham was also struck by the company’s mission. He added that BCBSM and Maven have a “shared mission in health equity and investment in community partnerships to address racial disparities and improve maternal and infant health care and outcomes.”

BCBSM’s ultimate goal in partnering with Maven Clinic is to provide inclusive, flexible and affordable benefits to members. It also wants to improve employee retention, productivity and healthcare costs for employers, Abraham added.

“We want our members to have the easiest and most successful path to building a family,” Abraham declared. “Starting or growing a family is one of the biggest decisions a person or family can make. There are cost factors to consider as well as the health for both parent and child. Positive outcomes are only possible by having access to the appropriate resources and care.”

Photo credit: Knape, Getty Images

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