While gender affirmation and fertility benefits coverage still isn’t included in all group benefits plans, around half of Canada’s group benefits providers include gender affirmation coverage (50 per cent) or fertility benefits coverage (59 per cent) in some of their plan offers, according to an exclusive survey by Benefits Canada.

The survey, which polled Canada’s 20 group benefits providers alongside the 2023 Group Benefits Providers Report, found none of the respondents reported including gender affirmation coverage in all of their plans, while only six per cent of respondents reported including fertility benefits coverage in all of their plans.

Read: 2023 Group Benefits Providers Report: Prioritizing partnerships, personalization and prevention

In addition, the survey found around two-thirds (68 per cent) of Canadian group benefits plan providers said they include paramedical services in all of their plan offerings, followed by mental-health services (67 per cent), vision care (39 per cent) and dental care (32 per cent).

More than two-thirds (70 per cent) of respondents said plan sponsors are expressing significant interest in coverage for virtual/online health care, followed by health coaching and navigation (40 per cent) and pharmacy services (40 per cent).

In addition, three-quarters (75 per cent) said plan sponsors are expressing little to no interest in medical cannabis coverage, while only five per cent reported hearing significant interest in cannabis coverage.

Read: 88% of benefits plan sponsors satisfied with virtual health-care offerings: BCHS