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Modernizing our benefit offering to be more inclusive

Posted by Medavie Blue Cross on November 17, 2021

We are at a pivotal point in history where social change is driving meaningful conversations around equity and inclusion — and spurring employers to take real action to advance diversity in the workplace.

In fact, according to a recent Mercer study, 70% of Canadian employers are focused on making their workplaces more inclusive, while 30% have a multi-year diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) strategy.

Those employers include Medavie Blue Cross. DEI is a top priority for our organization, at all levels, and for all lines of our business. Our vision is to foster a respectful culture where are teams, patients, customers, partners and communities are valued for who they are and what they contribute.

We recognize the importance of reflecting and supporting the diverse communities we serve. We’re constantly evolving our benefits offering to be as inclusive and accessible as possible, including recently adding a Gender Affirmation Benefit. This comprehensive benefit allows plan sponsors to increase access and provide financial support to plan members throughout their transitioning process.

Approximately 75,000 Canadians are transgender, representing 0.24% of the Canadian population aged 15 and older. Some experience gender dysphoria, which is described as distress resulting from a difference between a person's gender identity and the person's assigned sex, associated gender role, and/or primary and secondary sex characteristics. Surgical options can ease their gender dysphoria and improve their quality of life.

The Gender Affirmation Benefit can be added to extended health care coverage (on a non-standard basis), is supplemental to government-funded programs, and complements other inclusive options offered by Medavie Blue Cross such as our Hormone Replacement Therapy coverage.

Qualifying members of groups that offer the Gender Affirmation Benefit will have access to coverage for various procedures including, but not limited to, facial feminization, laser hair removal, pectoral implants (chest contouring) and tracheal shaving.

The benefit builds on the organization’s recent work to develop a culture that embeds diversity, equity and inclusion in everything we do — whether it be offering inclusive benefit options to our clients, investing in community-based initiatives that improve wellbeing or treating everyone we employ and serve fairly and with respect.

Our recent efforts have included updating our business forms and letters to use more inclusive language, removing all references to gender and adopting the use of more gender-neutral language.

To help guide us on our DEI journey, we have partnered with the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (CCDI). Founder Michael Bach said partners, like Medavie, play an important role in creating a more inclusive society” and applauds organizations that are “always searching to adopt forward-looking initiatives to meet the diverse needs of its employees and clients.”

Learn more about the actions we are taking to become a more inclusive health solutions partner.

To find out more about our Gender Affirmation Benefit, Hormone Replacement Therapy coverage and other options to support transgender members, connect with your Medavie Blue Cross representative for a chat.

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