The LGBTQ community has been fighting for its rights in the corporate world for a long time. For most people, work is often stressful, and the additional burden of hiding the most basic identity from the world could be mentally and emotionally exhausting. People from the LGBTQIA community are often faced with stigma, discrimination, hostility and the pressure to manage their identity in social settings, including workplaces, to suit the needs of others.
Such experiences can set a host of psychological responses that have devastating consequences for trans individuals' emotional well-being, job satisfaction, and inclination to remain with an employer.
Corporate Enabling Gender-Sensitivity Coverage
While speaking to The Logical Indian, Raghuveer Malik, the Business Head for Corporate Insurance with Policybazaar, informed that insurance regulators, companies and several corporates have enabled gender-sensitive coverage in their policies, and more have started following suit. This is offered to companies with as few as seven employees to schemes like Ayushman Bharat.
He said, "With the inclusion of this clause, we do not ask for the gender of the spouse for same-sex partners while marking them as dependants or family. These coverages include hormone therapy, sex reassignment surgery, and post-operative care. There are certain terms and conditions involved where anywhere between 5 to 10 procedures in the LGBTIQA+ clause can be availed by each corporate".
Further, he explained that the complexity is caused by traditional brokers being unprepared with processes to accommodate changes, which is why awareness becomes essential. He added sensitization is key to informing clients of the possibilities, costs, and operational concerns.
LGBTQ Still A Sensitive Issue
While speaking about the issues in the insurance structure that need attention while keeping the primary focus on overall inclusivity, Malik said, "LGBTIQA+ is still a sensitive issue in the country, which is why there are reservations about revealing sexual orientation as well as asking for coverage for their partners."
He said traditional insurance brokers need to work more closely to start including these covers in their policies – which are not just enabled but promoted by the insurance regulator and companies. He mentioned it as a simple and effective way to improve inclusion.
Citing the centre's flagship, Malik said that through Ayushman Bharat Yojana, transgender people would receive insurance covers that accommodate their needs. Additionally, he said that "For dealing with the psychological implications and distress that results from an incongruence between one's sex assigned at birth and one's gender identity, specialists and therapists could be empanelled as part of an EAP or OPD policy linked to the core employee benefit policies.