When you ask an insurance provider or an insurance agent, “Is there health insurance for transgenders in India? Or perhaps a Family floater health insurance for LGBTQ community?” even the experienced ones would reply that they haven’t received such requests to date. A further inquiry on this and they will reply how lesbians and gays can avail individual health insurance plans but they aren’t sure about others specifically transgenders.
Hmm…the amount of discrimination the community has faced over the years, do you think one could enquire about health insurance based on their sexual orientation? However, IRDAI (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India) has laid down rules for insurance companies in India and the latest circular (March 2022) would come as great news specifically for Transgenders in India who have been neglected for a long time now –
IRDAI, Health Insurance, and Transgenders: Is There a Health Insurance for Transgenders in India?
Going by the latest circular of March 8, 2022, IRDAI in its directive has clearly stated that all the health and general insurance companies should spell out all their norms (complete and correct information) with respect to transgenders on their website, so there is no confusion.
With more transparency and an aim to reduce bias towards transgenders and the LGBTQ community, this directive is a great initiative in line with 2019 Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights. It will not just increase insurance literacy but also help them in availing health and general insurance proudly; without the fear of discrimination. The act necessitates the government to simplify the coverage of medical expenses through an insurance scheme for hormonal therapy, sex reassignment surgery, laser therapy, or any other health issues of transgender.
The IRDAI order makes it compulsory for all the companies to disclose how health insurance for transgenders in India will be evaluated, what will be the premiums and how will be the risks assessed. Interestingly, IRDAI makes it compulsory for all insurance companies to offer such coverage – leaving no room for any sort of confusion.
Currently, although there are many general insurance providers that have a third gender in the form, the premium considered is that of a male. LIC has the third gender in its form since 2016 and several other general insurance companies have from 2018 but availing the same is not that simple as of now. However, with the latest act and directive, there will be more awareness and application of health insurance and medical cover for transgenders.
Apart from this, many times there have been questions raised –
Is there a Family Floater Health Insurance for LGBTQ Community?
Now that same-sex marriage is not allowed in India, a family floater medical cover for LGBTQ is still a huge issue. However, many Indian companies now provide spouse coverage to the same-sex partners of their employees and some even have health insurance for transgenders (Imagine the inclusivity).
IBM is one of the first companies to include sexual orientation in its policy. The company is totally LGBTQ-friendly with its culture as well as its policies. They have health insurance for LGBTQ and also for transgenders. In fact, their health insurance provides sex reassignment surgery too. Also, if you are an IBM Employee, you get to decide your pronouns (they/them, he/she) and prefixes (Mr/Ms).
Accenture in India is another company that has LGBTQ-friendly benefits such as coverage for mental health counseling, transgender-specific surgeries, hormone therapy, along with healthcare facilities for LGBTQ staff as well as their same-sex partners.
Moreover, Godrej, TATA, Star India, and Cognizant too have health insurance for the LGBTQ community that supports the individuals as well as their same-sex partners. Remarkably, Lalit Hotels offers all its transgender employees coverage of Rs 3.5-lakh for gender-reassignment surgery. It has collaborated with ICICI Lombard to cover its LGBTQ employees.
Yes, slowly and steadily, things are moving in a positive direction for the entire LGBTQ community. Trust us, within a few years not just the broad-minded corporations but every organization and insurance company will have to provide health insurance for transgenders along with family floater health insurance for LGBTQ community across India.