transgender-inclusive health care coverage, corporate equality index, CEIIf you are advocating for your employer to adopt LGBT-inclusive benefits, one of the most important arrows in your quiver is the ability to point to dozens, if not hundreds of similar employers with these benefits in place. Thanks to the transgender-inclusive health insurance mandate and outreach HRC implemented ahead of the 2012 Corporate Equality Index, the number of major employers offering coverage for medically necessary transition and other related services has skyrocketed from zero in the early days of the CEI to nearly 300 today – with more expected in the upcoming fall release of the 2014 CEI.

With this huge pool of employers to draw from, the Williams Institute has further validated HRC’s assessments that transgender-inclusive benefits are a low cost, smart choice for businesses.

In their newly launched study, the Institute found that employers report zero or very low costs -- but substantial benefits when they provide transition-related health care coverage in their employee health plans.

Eighty-five percent of employers reported no additional costs to add transgender-inclusive coverage to their existing employee health plans. In companies where employers reported employee utilization of the coverage, two-thirds reported zero actual costs due to utilization.

In the same study, 60 percent of employers reported that offering transgender-inclusive coverage helped them compete within their industries and provided benefits in terms of recruitment and retention. Employers also reported that coverage reflected their corporate values, improved employee satisfaction, and demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion.

In 2009, HRC announced a new set of Corporate Equality Index standards that included a requirement that businesses remove so-called “transgender exclusions” from their health insurance plans and afford coverage for medically necessary transition-related care, including surgical procedures in order to maintain a 100 percent score. Partnered with intensive educational and consultative efforts, these more stringent criteria have promoted rapid and significant growth in transgender-inclusive benefits, from just 49 businesses offering transgender-inclusive coverage in the first year of the outreach initiative to 287 major businesses with the 2013 CEI.

Read HRC's White Paper on Transgender-Inclusive Health Care Coverage and the Corporate Equality Index and learn more about HRC’s work on transgender equality and inclusion here.

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