Sun Life Assurance Co. of Canada will expand its extended health-care plan to include gender affirmation coverage to help people who are transitioning.

“We know there can be a significant impact on an individual’s mental, emotional and physical well-being when they don’t feel connected to their gender,” said Marie-Chantal Côté, vice-president of market development at Sun Life Financial Canada. “Gender affirmation procedures and hormone therapies can help a person feel empowered to align their body with their gender expression.”

Read: How Scotiabank supported an employee’s gender transition

Sun Life’s offering will provide financial support to plan members by reimbursing expenses covered by their workplace plan. The two choices available for employers to offer employees are:

  • Core coverage — Covering basic surgical procedures not covered under provincial or territorial health-care plans, such as Adam’s apple reduction and/or voice surgery.
  • Enhanced coverage — Offering additional coverage for surgical procedures to align feminine or masculine features to the transitioned gender, including facial bone reduction and/or cheek augmentation.

Gender affirmation coverage will be available for employers to add to their existing group extended health-care plans beginning April 2019.

“When it comes to health and wellness, we understand no two needs are the same, which is why we continue to evolve and diversify our health benefit plans, helping to meet the needs of all Canadians,” said Dave Jones, senior vice-president, group benefits at Sun Life Financial Canada. “Having additional support through gender affirmation can make a meaningful difference and help plan members live happier and healthier lives.”

Read: Sun Life launches online network of health resources