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Few employers offer transgender benefits

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Twelve percent of organizations offer transgender-inclusive health care benefits, according to a survey by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans.

Employers are expanding employee benefits to recruit the best employees, including LGBT workers. “Offering transgender-inclusive benefits is another step toward meeting the needs of a diverse workforce,” Julie Stich, director of research at the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans said in a Thursday statement.

The report, “Employee Benefits Survey 2016”, finds that among U.S. employer-provided health plans, 8% offer gender-reassignment/affirmation surgery, 11% provide mental health counseling pre- and/or post-surgery, 9% cover prescription drug therapy, and 10% include physician visits, according to the statement.

Additionally, transgender-inclusive health benefits are offered more by large employers. The survey, to be released in June, found 27% of responding employers with 10,000 or more employees offer the benefit, whereas only 4% of those with 50 or fewer employees do. This type of benefit is also more common in the west and northeast, and among self-funded employers, according to the statement.

“Employees aren't just looking at potential salary when considering job options,” Ms. Stich said in the statement. “Employees are looking for inclusive organizations that offer a range of benefits to serve a diverse population. I expect going forward, we'll see even more organizations offering transgender benefits as part of their overall health care offerings.”

The survey was based on the responses of 577 human resources and benefits professionals, trustees, administrators and industry experts from close to 20 different industries.