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International Transgender Day of Visibility: Protecting Transgender Healthcare Rights

March 31, 2022 - minute read


On International Transgender Day of Visibility, we wanted to share some tips for fostering a more inclusive workplace.

Last year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that gender identity and transgender individuals are protected from sex-based discrimination under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

That decision toward inclusivity permits more expansive benefit and nondiscrimination policies and practices than what federal or state law requires. At the same time, the interpretation has potential exceptions, such as in cases where neither the sponsoring employer nor the health care plan in question receives HHS funding.

Either way, you should know whether your plans contain discriminatory provisions that could risk enforcement action by HHS or discrimination claims by your workforce. Regardless of your perception of your health care plans, companies should re-examine them to ensure they are upholding the rights of transgender employees.

Checklist for Upholding Transgender Rights Under the ACA

Here are 6 best practices to ensure your health care plans fulfill ACA standards and protect transgender employees:

  1. Review benefits coverage terms for gender-affirmation surgery, gender dysphoria, and specific pharmacy and mental health benefits to determine whether or not the health care plans uphold transgender healthcare rights.
  2. Clarify eligibility for same-sex spouses and same-sex domestic partners to determine if it is equal amongst other employees and their spouses and domestic partners.
  3. Assess employee assistance programs (EAPs) and any related services available to transgender workers to ensure there is sufficient coverage to meet the specific needs of transgender employees.
  4. Review your health care plan administration process and benefits claim forms for potentially discriminatory language or concerns, including issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination.
  5. Ensure there is reasonable access to providers experienced with and supportive of transgender health care.
  6. Consider expanding family planning benefits (both within and outside group health plans) to include LGBTQ employees (e.g., adoption assistance, foster care, reproductive technology assistance).

Benefits Administration for a Diverse Workforce

EPAY Systems makes supporting the LGBTQ members of your workforce easy. With our benefits administration solutions, you can offer all the members of your workforce equal access to top-notch benefit programs. Our software is designed to make comparing and choosing the plan best plan easier for your employees, and cut your time-consuming administrative tasks in half.

We ensure your ACA reporting requirements, COBRA administration and data transfers to insurance carriers are all fulfilled smoothly and without mistakes. From enrollments to renewals, our software takes care of all the heavy lifting.

Our self-service capabilities allow employees to enter, review and update their own benefits data online, ensuring that all members of your workforce are able to get the exact kind of care they need—on International Transgender Day of Visibility or any other day.


Filed Under: Human Capital Management HR News Employee Benefits Human Resources