America's Largest Supermarket Chain Will Soon Offer Transgender Health Benefits to Employees

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Beginning in 2016, the Kroger Company will begin offering transgender health benefits to employees enrolled in their Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield (Anthem BCBS) insurance plan. The covered benefits will reportedly include "surgery and drug therapy for gender reassignment," according to a recently leaked internal announcement. The Anthem BCBS plan will provide such coverage up to a $100,000 lifetime maximum for eligible employees and any potential dependents.

 

http://news.yahoo.com/americas-largest-supermarket-chain-soon-123340353.html?soc_src=mediacontentsharebuttons&soc_trk=ma

 

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Posted

It's a step in the right direction... but I'm wondering how much research Anthem BC/BS put into that lifetime monetary max?   Seems to me  that max could sorta screw over the guys who want to go as far as genital surgery (phalloplasty) as nearly anyone knows that costs for bottom surgery for us far exceeds that for women.  Not to mention, quite often, everything cannot be accomplished in one surgery.   Seems to me that once a guy has jumped thru the mandatory therapy hoops and loops, is on "T," and has top surgery (since most guys will have top surgery before any other surgery), there might not be enough of that $100K max left to have bottom surgery fully covered.

Last time I discussed U.S. costs for genital surgery with other guys, phalloplasty was about $80K.  Top surgery today can run anywhere from $4,000 to more than $10,000 depending on the surgeon and the process.  Keyhole is less expensive than DI, but many guys aren't elegible for the keyhole process due to size.   If a young guy went to work at Kroger's, and made it a career...seems to me he'd run short on something sooner or later and would then be right back where so many people are now - paying everything out of pocket.

It would be nice to hear from people who transitioned twenty, thirty years ago, to see if they can offer a ballpark figure as to what they've spent over the years in HRT since that is potentially something a person must remain on until death.

Would that $100K max negatively impact even women who've done therapy, seen the shinks, been on HRT, and goe for genital surgery over time?

Does Anthem BC/BS realize that the number of people who will transition, and transition clear thru to genital surgery are so few (compared to the rest of the population they would be insuring), that the lack of a max would most likely not impact the insurance plan?

-Michael

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