Transgender care is often overlooked in employee benefit packages. The NYC Commission on Human Rights ensures that all NYC employers offer transgender care by enforcing the NYC Human Rights Law (NYCHRL). The Law forbids companies from offering benefits that discriminate based on gender. The Employee Retirement Income Security Act also forbids gender discrimination in health and financial benefits. This article will explore why transgender healthcare is important. It will also reveal examples of benefit discrimination based on gender.
Why Transgender Care is Important
It is illegal for companies to offer health benefits that deny or exclude treatments based on gender. This includes transgender healthcare. People also call transgender healthcare, transition-related care or gender-affirming care. It is important to note that an employer will not be legally responsible if they choose a non-discriminatory plan for their employees. For example, it is not the employer’s fault if the insurance company exhibits gender discrimination because the plan was non-discriminatory.
Transgender care is medically necessary for many transgender people. It can even save lives. Some transgender healthcare treatments include:
- – voice training
- – surgery
- – hormone replacement therapy
Furthermore, people will look for different treatments according to their needs and health. Unfortunately, some insurance plans do not include transgender healthcare coverage. The Federal law requires self-insured plans under the Affordable Care Act to cover necessary transgender treatment. The NY State law also requires fully-insured NY plans to do the same.
Examples of Gender Discrimination in Employee Benefits
It is illegal for employers to offer benefits to opposite-sex spouses but not same-sex spouses. It is also illegal to offer benefits that do not include or limit coverage for gender transition. Employers are not allowed to provide healthcare that denies people with a different sex or gender than the one they had at birth. For example, a healthcare plan might cover prostate care scanning for cisgender men but not for transgender women.