Mercer announces it will offer trans benefits under private medical scheme

Employers are beginning to offer support for treatment and counselling for trans employees as part of their benefits packages

Benefits consultancy Mercer has announced it will offer a suite of trans benefits as part of its private medical scheme for employees.

Its private medical support will be able to be used for the treatment of gender dysphoria – where a person experiences discomfort or distress due to a mismatch between their biological sex and gender identity.

Mercer said this would cover consultations, diagnosis, mental health and surgical treatment.

“Being a diverse and inclusive company is a key part of Mercer’s identity, and we are pleased to be one of the first companies in the UK to have trans healthcare benefits in place to support those employees who need it,” said Dr Siobhan Martin, UK HR director.

“We know that people can only thrive at work when we can be our authentic selves. Employees who feel unsupported or who cannot be themselves at work are more likely to suffer stress and anxiety, which can lead to mental health issues.” she added.

A number of insurers now offer what they term as “gender affirmation treatment” if employers require it as part of their private medical insurance package.

Law firm Baker McKenzie, for example, offers a counselling benefit to employees considering gender affirmation surgery as part of its medical benefits programme.

In the US, a Wisconsin jury this month awarded $780,000 in damages to two transgender state employees who were denied medical coverage for this surgery under their state health insurance plan.

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