Ohio Health Care Company Expands Coverage For Transgender Employees

Grace Carr | Reporter

Ohio’s biggest health care company for transgender persons announced Wednesday that it will expand coverage for its employees with gender dysphoria to include a slew of cosmetic procedures.

“As a nonprofit healthcare system we are proud to be leading on this front,” Equitas Health president Bill Hardy said, Prizm News reported. “Health equity is a collective responsibility; we call on others to join us in providing transgender-inclusive healthcare coverage,” he added.

Equitas Health has roughly 320 employees and 17 offices in 11 cities throughout Ohio. It serves over 67,000 patients and clients, according to Prizm News.

Breast augmentation, facial feminization, brow lifts, cheek augmentation, rhinoplasty, face lifts and liposuction are included in the list of services the company will cover for its employees along with a number of other cosmetic procedures. The coverage for these services will begin August 1.

“As a provider of transgender health services, we wanted to give our employees access to the same type of care we think all our patients deserve,” Equitas Health chief operating officer Peggy Anderson said. “We want transgender and gender-nonconforming folks to want to work here,” she also said. (RELATED: Ireland Might Drop Psychiatric Requirements For Transgender Individuals Seeking Hormone Therapy)

Starbucks also changed its policies in June, giving benefits to employees that identify as transgender. The new policy includes coverage for breast reduction or augmentation surgeries, facial feminization procedures and hair transplants among other procedures, MarketWatch reported. Starbucks has offered health insurance plans that cover gender reassignment surgery since 2012.

The World Health Organization (WHO) ruled on June 19 that gender dysphoria is no longer a mental condition. “Gender incongruence, meanwhile, has also been moved out of the mental disorders in the ICD, into sexual health conditions,” WHO stated in its June report.

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