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Starbucks to offer comprehensive healthcare for trans employees

Written by gaytourism

Starbucks is making good strides for their employees | Photo: Flickr/Howard Lake

Starbucks is now offering one of the most comprehensive healthcare plans for their transgender employees.

The company worked with World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) for a year. This relationship resulted in their new six-page document titled Starbucks Transgender Medical Benefits.

Since 2012, they’ve offered gender reassignment surgery in their health insurance plan.

Now, however, the new plan includes breast reduction or augmentation surgery, facial feminization, hair transplants, and more.

Jamison Green, the immediate past president of WPATH, said Starbucks was the first company to ever reach out to them about an inclusive medical package.

‘The approach was driven not just by the company’s desire to provide truly inclusive coverage, and by powerful conversations with transgender partners about how those benefits would allow them to truly be who they are,’ said Ron Crawford, vice president of benefits at Starbucks.

It’s not just cosmetic

Tate Buhrmester, a Starbucks employee for 15 years and now a manager at an Austin location, responded with gratitude to the new benefits.

‘Starbucks is taking a stand and standing up for trans people and saying that our procedures aren’t just cosmetic – they are lifesaving,’ he said.

‘They’re affirming. They’re vitally important to trans people and it’s not something just to be seen as a cosmetic procedure that’s optional, because for a lot of people, it’s not optional for them.’

Transgender people experience suicide ideation at a much higher rate than the rest of the overall population.

A proven way to reduce this risk is by allowing, encouraging, and respecting trans people’s identities. This includes calling them by their chosen name, presenting themselves authentically, and better access to healthcare.

As the Starbuck report says: ‘Some trans people who have had a faced rejection from doctors will delay seeking treatment, sometimes with deadly consequences.’

So the company also has advocates specifically trained to help employees who are transitioning.

‘We heard a lot from our transgender partners that this is important to them – and so it should be important to us too,’ said Alyssa Brock, Starbucks’ benefits director. ‘It’s true to our mission and values of nurturing the human spirit.’

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