Medavie Blue Cross has launched a Gender Affirmation Benefit to enhance its insurance offerings. The insurer said the initiative is part of its efforts to support a diverse Canadian workforce.

This new product grants qualifying group plan members access to coverage across a wide range of treatments that are not included in government-funded programs. “Adding the Gender Affirmation Benefit to our offering allows plans to increase access and provide financial support to plan members throughout their transitioning process," said Marc Avaria, Vice President, Product and Disability Management at Medavie Blue Cross.

Medavie adds that this benefit builds on its recent efforts to adopt more inclusive language. Notably, it is reviewing its member tools and communications to ensure that its materials, conversations with clients, and private business forms are more inclusive.

“We are always working to identify opportunities where we can become a more inclusive health solutions partner,” Avaria says. “We also want to foster a culture where our employees feel they can bring their true selves to work."


Given that society’s understanding and acceptance of the difference between gender and sex has evolved, Medavie Blue Cross has begun to update its documents. For example, the insurer has removed all references to gender in its new forms, and has adopted more gender-neutral language. "Employees also received the necessary training and tools to ensure all client and member communications reflect a more inclusive approach," Avaria explains. 

Medavie has also partnered with the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (CCDI). The CCDI helps its partners to be more inclusive, be free of prejudice and discrimination, and recognize diversity as an asset, not an obstacle. 

"Progressive employer partners, like Medavie, play an important role in creating a more inclusive society,” says Michael Bach, founder of the CCDI. He applauds any organization that is trying to adopt forward-looking initiatives to meet the diverse needs of its employees and clients.