Coca-Cola would like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony. It's just one of the megacompanies that's expanded its insurance policies to cover the sex-change operations of employees. And it's a growing trend.
Other behemoths shifting their policies include Yahoo!, Campbell Soup, Walt Disney, Sears, State Farm, General Motors, American Express and AT&T. And, given the fact that companies want a good rating from the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index, more are sure to follow. It's not cheap, but in the words of one transgendered woman working to implement the programs, "The big misconception is we are going to go broke and all these transgender people are going to come out of the woodwork asking for gender reassignment surgery." And when people do, it'll still be an investment in the company: those who treat Gender Identity Disorder are far less likely to be depressed, and as a result will be better workers. Everyone wins!
More to the point, it's part of a larger push by advocacy groups to have gender dysphoria treatments recognized as non-optional — something the AMA already does. Says Andre Wilson, who consults with companies on the subject,
We understand people simply get appendicitis, and it is something our community deals with through insurance...That's what we need to understand about transsexualism. Not everybody will be diagnosed with Gender Identity Disorder, and in fact, few people will be. But the people who are diagnosed with it really need treatment.