Montreal, October 3, 2022 — Desjardins Insurance wants to ensure that all individuals can affirm their gender identity and be respected and valued for who they are, which is why it is now including gender affirmation coverage in its group insurance plans. This initiative was developed in collaboration with Fondation Émergence, an organization that, through its ProAlly program, advocates for the rights of LGBTQ+ people to create more inclusive workplaces.
Even though public health insurance plans across Canada generally cover basic expenses associated with gender affirmation, such as breast and genital surgery, coverage levels vary. As a result, individuals often end up having to pay out-of-pocket for other medical care and the significant costs can hold back their gender affirmation journey.
"At Desjardins, we believe that all medical care related to gender affirmation can be necessary and life-changing. That's why gender affirmation coverage is now included in our group insurance," said Guy Cormier, President and CEO of Desjardins Group. "Offering this coverage is one of Desjardins's many initiatives aimed at creating a more inclusive society for all people, regardless of their gender, sexual orientation or skin colour."
This new group insurance product enhances the coverage available through public health plans by adding coverage for expenses related to certain treatments and surgeries. These include Adam's apple surgery, vocal chord surgery, laser hair removal and, in some cases, facial surgeries and hair transplants.
According to Statistics Canada (2021), 1 in 300 people ages 15 and up identifies as transgender or non-binary. Many of these individuals feel the need for medical care to align their physical appearance with their gender identity.
Toolkit for employers
More and more employers are seeking information and advice on how to create a more inclusive workplace and make sure members of LGBTQ+ communities feel included in their organizations. Recognizing this need, Desjardins Insurance has put together a toolkit to help employers understand the issues that trans people face, know which terms to use and access resources for creating an inclusive work environment.
The toolkit was developed in collaboration with Fondation Émergence, one of Desjardins Group's longstanding partners. Fondation Émergence strives to educate, inform and raise awareness about the experiences of people with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions.
The toolkit includes a guide on best practices for creating a workplace that's inclusive for members of the LGBTQ+ community and information on how to talk about diversity and inclusion at work, as well as the associated benefits. In addition, the toolkit provides tips for promoting inclusivity through practical measures like setting up washroom and changeroom options and developing a workplace transition plan.
For further information (media inquiries only):
Desjardins Group Public Relations
514-281-7000, ext. 5553436