- As acceptance of transgender rights grows, more U.S. businesses are covering gender reassignment surgery, Forbes reported.
- A recent nationwide survey found nearly a third of large employers include “gender confirmation surgery” in their health benefit packages.
- The shift coincides with recent policy advances in gender rights, such as President Obama’s directive on use of public school bathrooms.
According to the Mercer National Survey of Employer-Sponsored Benefit Plans, large companies in the western U.S. were more likely to cover gender reassignment surgery, with 17% offering the benefit. Nationwide, 29% of firms with at least 20,000 workers covered the surgery.
Among companies with 500 or more employers, one in 10 covered transgender surgery — more than double the rate in 2013 and up from 8% in 2014. Another 5% in that size group were considering adding the benefit.
Last year, Aetna added transgender surgery to the covered benefits in 33 plans offered to federal staffers.
In all cases, the benefit covers genital reconstruction and, in some cases, breast reduction or augmentation. Other procedures, such as facial hair removal and reduction of the Adam’s apple, are typically considered cosmetic and are not covered.