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Corporate Equality Index: Does it Give Credit for Therapy

The HRC Foundation would not give credit to employers that have only made, or officially recommend, mental health counseling benefits available for reparative therapy to an employee or dependent based on their gender identity or expression or sexual orientation.

HRC's main goal with these criteria is removing discriminatory "transgender exclusion" statements from insurance contracts. By removing these exclusions, employees and other dependents covered under a medical plan have access to a wide range of healthcare providers, each of whom will handle patients differently.

Given the vast numbers of providers, as well as the often very indirect relationship these providers generally have with an employer's health insurance plan, it is impossible for HRC to monitor all of the mental healthcare providers that participate in an employer's health insurance plans.

However, as with any discrepancy between what is reported in the Corporate Equality Index and what individual employees experience, if HRC were to become aware of an employer that received credit for mental health counseling but only provides "reparative therapy" we would follow up with the employer to give them the chance to correct the situation. If the discrepancy were not resolved, we would remove credit for mental health counseling and, at a minimum, note this in that employer’s profile on our website. This could result in the employer losing five points of their CEI rating, depending on whether or not they make another benefit (such as short-term leave) available without exclusion.

From 2006-2010 (through the CEI 2011 report), the HRC Foundation required employers to examine their various employee benefits for transgender exclusions by looking at five categories of benefits, including:

  • Short-term leave
  • Mental health counseling
  • Hormone therapy (pharmacy benefit)
  • Medical visits
  • Surgical procedures

Employers that receive credit for this criterion have indicated that at least one of these five categories of benefits is available without transgender exclusions. Beginning in 2011 with the CEI 2012 survey and report, HRC will require employers to have at least one transgender-inclusive health insurance plan that removes transgender exclusions and acknowledges the WPATH Standards of Care for treatment.

While the Corporate Equality Index only intends to address employer policies and benefits, the Healthcare Equality Index works to address equality in healthcare provision for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender patients and family members of patients including patient non-discrimination, visitation and decision-making policies and cultural competency training.