Starbucks has announced it will begin offering comprehensive healthcare for all transgender employees.
The company began covering gender affirmation surgery in 2012, and will now also cover services previously considered elective, such as breast reduction, augmentation, facial feminization, hair transplants, and other transition-related care.
Advocates are encouraged by Monday’s announcement, having long argued that while these procedures are often seen as solely cosmetic, they are in fact life-saving and necessary for the survival of trans and gender nonconforming people.
Starbucks partnered with the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) for guidance on its new policies, and to ensure that they were as inclusive as possible.
“The approach was driven not just by the company’s desire to provide truly inclusive coverage, and by powerful conversations with transgender partners about how those benefits would allow them to truly be who they are,” Ron Crawford, vice president of benefits at Starbucks, said in a statement.
The company earned a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s annual Corporate Equality Index for 2018, earning it the title of a “Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality.”