Does your employer cover transgender benefits?

It may be more likely than you think. The Health Business Blog (via Business Insurance) notes that:

…the Office of Personnel Management recently required Federal Employee Benefit Plan providers to cover transition-related care…About half of large employers offer transgender-related surgical coverage compared with 5 percent in 2007, according to a National Business Group on Health survey.

Why would an employer cover these benefits? Altruism? Not entirely. David Williams writes:

  • An increasing belief that such coverage is medically necessary, and therefore in keeping with the overall philosophy of health insurance
  • A desire to increase competitive positioning in recruiting, by appearing progressive
  • A realization that the overall costs are likely to be small, typically less than 0.5% of total health care costs
  • Employer worry that failing to offer these such benefits could lead to discrimination claims

It could be the case that health insurance policies are reflecting changing perceptions of transgender individuals in the US.

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