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As Illinois Expands IVF Coverage to LGBTQ+ Families, Prospective Gay Fathers Across the Midwest Will Again Gather at the Men Having Babies Chicago Conference

CHICAGO, Sept. 24, 2021 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — The Midwest Surrogacy Conference & Expo is typically one of several events the nonprofit organization Men Having Babies (MHB) holds annually in a number of cities across the U.S. and internationally. These events include peer guidance, expert advice, information about financing and grants, inspirational testimonies from surrogates and fathers, and an opportunity to meet dozens of reputable surrogacy providers.

However, for the first 18 months of the pandemic MHB was largely unable to hold such events, and instead used specialized virtual conference technology to offer guidance to the best of our abilities,. This fall the organization introduced a robust COVID-safety model that allowed it to renew in-person events, starting with the New York conference on September 18-19. “Our goal is to ensure the health and safety of all participants, while allowing optimal engagement and the immersive experience our conferences are known for,” said Ron Poole-Dayan, MHB’s Executive Director.

MHB’s COVID-19 measures include requiring full vaccination and masking, providing onsite rapid testing, and using careful catering practices. In a satisfaction survey attendees from the New York conference rated their overall experience at 9.4/10, and the organization’s COVID response and safety protocols at 9.5. “This conference is extremely useful for intended parents considering surrogacy journey. I liked the in person meeting so much, I enjoyed the direct one on one interaction with presenters and many providers,” stated Harry Lesmana, one of the event attendees.

Dr. Angeline Beltsos of Vios Fertility Institute, a Platinum Sponsor at the conference, said, “Despite the challenges of this past year, MHB has continued to bring a wealth of education and financial options to enable men who wish to become dads to do so without delay. We are proud to be part of the Men Having Babies community and to help all who seek to build a family with innovative, scientific, cutting-edge treatment options.”

The full-day event will kick off with workshops and panels that compare the destinations where gay men can find surrogates to help them become parents, and provide guidance on how to plan a surrogacy journey. Special attention will be given to the new opportunities brought about by the new Illinois bill (HB3709) that will take effect on January 1, 2022. The bill is the first in the nation to update the state’s existing infertility insurance law to be fully inclusive of same-sex couples and single parents. It does so by using the LGBTQ-equitable definition of “infertility” that MHB has been advocating for, along with RESOLVE: The National Infertility Organization, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights. The new definition refers to infertility as not just to a “disease” or “condition,” but also a status. In particular, the bill states that infertility can be characterized by “a person’s inability to reproduce either as a single individual or with a partner without medical intervention.” Therefore, starting 2022, eligible gay men may be able to save thousands of dollars on their surrogacy journey.

This advocacy work is part of MHB’s primary goal to broaden access to affordable parenting options for gay men. Several conference sessions will be dedicated to ways in which prospective parents can budget smartly, take advantage of financial assistance and member discounts by MHB, and discover opportunities to receive coverage of surrogacy related medical costs as part of their employee benefits.

Proceeds from the conference’s sponsorship fees benefit MHB’s Gay Parenting Assistance Program (GPAP), which provides dozens of prospective parents with over a million dollars’ worth of cash grants, discounts and free services on an annual basis, from over 120 leading service providers.

“Men Having Babies remains an organization committed to facilitating the surrogacy process for gay men by bringing them together with comprehensive information about the process and a rare opportunity to receive objective information about many providers on their rating pages,” said attorney Steve Snyder, the owner of Platinum Sponsor IARC Surrogacy.” The organization’s commitment to the welfare of its members is clearly shown by their financial assistance programs.”

The majority of the 23 exhibitors at the MHB Midwest conference are supporters of GPAP, as well as the organization’s Membership Benefits Program, including Platinum sponsors Vios Fertility Institute and IARC Surrogacy, and Gold conference sponsors: Circle Surrogacy, Worldwide Surrogacy Specialists, Same Love Surrogacy, San Diego Fertility Center, Golden Surrogacy, Private Label Surrogacy, Gift of Life Surrogacy, and Family Source Consultants.

Full event information:
Men Having Babies 2021 Midwest Surrogacy Conference & Expo
October 9, 2021, 9:00 AM- 7:00 PM
Center on Halsted, 3656 North Halsted, Chicago
Registration: menhavingbabies.org/chicago
See here for full COVID-19 Safety Protocols

Media Contact

Yan Dekel, Men Having Babies, 646-461-6111, yan@menhavingbabies.org

Twitter, Facebook

SOURCE Men Having Babies


Stork Club Raises $30M to Respond to Unprecedented Employer Demand for Inclusive Benefits and to Hold Employees’ Hands as they Build Healthy Families

Boosts revenue by 5x in 12 months and lands several new strategic customers, including one of the largest law firms in the nation, Ropes & Gray, and the largest fertility network group, Inception, among others

First healthcare platform to partner with the major insurance providers to tell people—up front— how much they’ll pay-out-of pocket for maternity and fertility care

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#Adoption–Today, Stork Club, the company on a mission to modernize healthcare and give people the freedom to build a family on their own terms, announced it raised $30M in Series A funding led by General Catalyst, with Hemant Taneja joining the board. Existing investors Bowery Capital, Slow Ventures and angels Jack Altman, founder of Lattice; Zach Sims, founder of Codecademy; Oleg Rogynskyy, founder of People.ai; and Kevin Mahaffey, founder of Lookout also joined the round. Stork Club is also announcing several new customers from a variety of industries, including Ropes & Gray, Crescent Capital, Corgan, Fors Marsh Group and Inception.

Stork Club is the first to extend traditional employee benefits to include historically overlooked, yet critical components of maternal health: diagnostics, egg and sperm freezing, IVF, surrogacy, adoption, pregnancy guidance and postpartum recovery support. By consolidating care into one concierge-like experience — from preconception through pregnancy or adoption to postpartum and newborn care — employees have better health outcomes while employers have drastically reduced healthcare costs. For a company with a few thousand employees, Stork Club can save up to $3 million per year.

“Modern families include working women, older couples and LGBTQ+ couples looking to have children. It’s no longer a heterosexual couple having children in their 20s, yet the traditional healthcare model does not support these types of families,” said Jeni Mayorskaya, founder and CEO of Stork Club. “It’s time our healthcare model caught up to the times and provides services to all types of people. By rethinking healthcare from the ground up, we have an opportunity to make it a win-win for both people and organizations, providing better care resulting in better outcomes for people, and saving businesses millions on healthcare related costs.”

Platform Empowers Companies to Support Modern Families While Lowering Costs

Stork Club’s funding comes at a time when businesses are rethinking how they will attract and retain new talent as the pandemic ends. Businesses are also evaluating how to build and grow businesses with diversity, equity and inclusion as top priorities. The current health crisis proves the healthcare system is failing women and people of color, despite a constant rise in the expense. The legacy model does not promote gender equity, LGBTQ+ families or include support beyond pregnancy care, and cost businesses millions. For a business, health insurance is the second largest expense for an organization, costing over $1 trillion per year and growing. Within insurance, maternity care is the largest expense, which costs companies $130 billion a year.

“Stork Club has proven themselves as a true partner and the only provider we came across that offered seamless integration with our existing medical plan, making it extremely easy for our Benefits team and plan members to use,” said Julie Blume, Director of Total Rewards at Ropes & Gray. “Our plan members like that it gives them quick transparency into the treatment and pharmacy costs while taking away the burden of managing insurance authorizations.”

Stork Club Delivers New Level of Support and Transparency

Stork Club designed a radically different way for people to build a family on their own terms by removing the ambiguity, hassle, expense and stress associated with fertility and maternity care. Employees can use Stork Club to immediately view medical providers in their network and what their options are. They can also see exactly what their out-of-pocket costs will be before making any decisions, removing all of the guesswork about what is and what is not covered. Additionally, the service gets rid of the long wait for insurance authorization; members know instantly what is and isn’t covered.

Stork Club is able to do this because, unlike other perks or apps, its platform directly integrates with large health plan administrators, such as UnitedHealthcare and Aetna, promising a seamless experience for employers while simultaneously giving employees the transparency they need to make decisions about family building. Stork Club also developed its proprietary vetting process to identify high-performance doctors, clinics and labs — and established single-price care bundles, incentivizing people to use the best-performing care vs. optimizing for cost. Stork Club Members can request an appointment at a top clinic in the U.S. via a single click online, knowing their financial responsibility before even using their coverage.

Stork Club also uniquely provides members with a Care Navigator who can guide them through often complicated processes, as well as answer fertility, maternity care and insurance-related questions.

“The Stork Club team and Jeni have built a unique model that aims to rethink the family planning process end-to-end and make it more accessible and more affordable to a whole new group of people. We love how they have figured out how to create a transformative and comprehensive end-user experience with greater transparency — but also integrate seamlessly into the existing provider systems,” said Hemant Taneja, managing partner at General Catalyst. “We’re excited to be part of a company that’s helping to build the next generation of healthy families.”

How Stork Club Works

Employers add Stork Club to their health plan to fill out gaps in their fertility and maternity care to support their people at every stage of their family-building journey. Covered employees and their dependents access Stork Club web and mobile apps to get recommendations and care relevant to their current family goals: whether they plan to have a child later, now, are already expecting or returning back to work.

Stork Club partners with top medical providers across the U.S. directly and incentivizes them for better outcomes through direct contracting. Stork Club users have access to vetted certified telehealth experts on demand, as well as transparent payments integrated with their existing health plan.

While the pandemic year was challenging for many benefits-related solutions, Stork Club exited 2020 with 5x revenue growth, expanded their medical network to 250+ locations across the US, including such world industry leaders as CCRM, Boston IVF, Vios Fertility, CooperGenomics, as well as added a cohesive fertility pharmacy experience for its members — Stork Club Rx, which showed up to 75% in savings in Q1, 2021 in comparison with traditional PBMs.

Stork Club will use this funding to meet market demand and expand the line of family-related services to fill the gaps in modern maternity care to drive improvement in overall maternity-related clinical outcomes and member experience.

Learn more about the vision behind Stork Club.

About Stork Club

Stork Club modernizes healthcare for families and gives people the freedom to plan their future on their own terms. We extend traditional employee insurance benefits to give people, including LGTBQ families, all possible options to have a baby (including natural conception, IVF, adoption and surrogacy). Employers choose to add Stork Club to their benefits health plan to provide more inclusive support for their people while significantly reducing overall maternity costs ($130B per year in the US). Founded in 2018 and headquartered in San Francisco, Stork Club has raised $32.7M from investors including, General Catalyst, Bowery Capital, and Slow Ventures. To learn more visit: joinstorkclub.com.

About General Catalyst

General Catalyst is a venture capital firm that invests in powerful, positive change that endures — for our entrepreneurs, our investors, our people, and society. We support founders with a long-term view who challenge the status quo, partnering with them from seed to growth stage and beyond to build companies that withstand the test of time. With offices in San Francisco, Palo Alto, New York City, and Boston, the firm has helped support the growth of businesses such as: Airbnb, Deliveroo, Guild, Gusto, Hubspot, Illumio, Lemonade, Livongo, Oscar, Snap, Stripe, and Warby Parker. For more: www.generalcatalyst.com.


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