A third of Fortune 500 companies now cover transgender health care - Yahoo News
A third of Fortune 500 companies now cover transgender health care
The number of Fortune 500 companies willing pay for sex reassignment surgeries and other transgender-related healthcare has gone from zero in 2002 to 169 this year, according to a new report from the Human Rights Campaign.
The report, which ranks corporations on their treatment of gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans employees, also found that more than half of corporations with more than 500 employees that participated in the survey now cover the procedures. That’s 418 firms.
Some of the biggest names in corporate America are among those who have signed up to cover the procedures, at up to $75,000 per employee. Facebook Inc., Visa, Starbucks Corp., CVS Health Corp. and Anheuser-Busch Companies Inc. are just some of the firms that decided this year to begin covering the procedures for their workers for the first time.
“The jump in terms of employers adopting transgender benefits has been the most dramatic of any single aspect of the Corporate Equality Index in its entire history,” said Deena Fidas, the director of the Human Rights Campaign’s Workplace Equality Program, which has been producing the report for more than a decade.
...The vast majority of health insurance plans explicitly ban the coverage of any transition-related care, grouping those procedures with elective cosmetic surgery.
This has slowly begun to change as mainstream medical organizations, including the American Medical Association, have announced new positions in recent years stating that sex reassignment surgery is not elective for some transgender people. (The American Medical Association said in 2008 that “gender dysphoria” is a “serious medical condition” that can result in “suicidality and death” without proper treatment.)
“Transition-related care is absolutely essential to trans people who are seeking to be themselves,” said Lisa Mottet, deputy executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality. “In many cases, this care is actually life-saving..."