Google Increases Transgender Employee Health Benefits

Taking a major leadership role in workplace standards, Google has made a huge move and increased coverage significantly of transgender health care benefits for its American employees. Google has more than doubled the maximum dollar amount for transgender health care benefits, from $35,000 to $75,000, The minimum amount required for a 100% rating on the Human Rights Campaign’s 2012 Corporate Equality Index.

The updated benefits, which were revealed by Google last week and which are effective immediately, cover transitioning procedures and treatment in accordance with the World Professional Association for Transgender Health’s (WPATH) Standards of Care, and include gender reassignment surgical procedures determined to be medically necessary by a doctor.

The procedures covered by Google’s health care plan include genital surgery, as well as facial feminization for transgender women and pectoral implants for transgender men — surgeries that can be considered medically necessary depending on the “unique clinical situation of a given patient’s condition and life situation,” according to WPATH’s care standards.

“As the WPATH Standards of Care are considered the highest standards of care for transgender individuals, we agreed to cover the full range of procedures under WPATH,” Google spokesman Jordan Newman.

Google takes equality seriously, and on their recent blog post on Transgender Remembrance Day, wrote: “We’re fortunate here at Google, where there are LGB and T people at all levels of the company, thanks to enlightened hiring and promotion practices that set aside sexual orientation or gender presentation. Ultimately, Google fosters a workplace where everyone has the ability to be themselves at work. For transgender employees in particular, that means everything.”