Grindr to cover the cost of gender confirmation surgery for workers
WOODrindr LLC, the dating app that specializes in hooking up for LGBTQ Community +is rolling out new benefits to support employees who want gender-affirming surgery, joining other companies that are working to help employees get care that can sometimes be difficult to access.
Under the new benefits, which have been in place for about nine months and become available to employees in mid-April, Grindr will work with healthcare providers to recommend surgery without a certain amount of money. Letters from psychiatrists include their mental health history and recommendations for surgery, which advocates say creates a burden on patients.
Instead, staff will sign a statement that the surgery is required for them to live up to gender identity, said Heidi Schriefer, Grindr’s vice president of people and places. Grindr will also cover flight costs and hotel stays should an employee need to travel to provide care.
The expansion of Grindr’s interests comes after Tinder owner Match Group Inc. and Bumble Inc. said last year that it would cover travel costs for employees seeking abortions in other states after Texas passed legislation restricting the procedure. On Monday night, Politico reported that they had obtained a draft majority opinion by the Supreme Court to overturned Roe v. Wademaking the choice to search most abortions a constitutional right for women across the country.
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Amy Jie, Grindr’s product manager, helped create the new benefits after her experience transitioned to her former employer’s insurance plan. The lack of providers who are understanding and compassionate towards gay patients, she says, has resulted in patients not seeking insurance. Jie had to send letters to nearly 30 psychiatrists to get the letters needed for insurance coverage.
One year 2020 report from the Center for American Progress found that one-third of transgender patients must teach their doctors about transgender individuals access to adequate health care, and 3 out of 10 people report delaying or avoiding treatment because of discrimination.
“It makes me feel like my problems are not the ones that society cares about,” says Jie. “It is ritual humiliation and conditional care that causes a high percentage of homosexuals to avoid seeking health care.”
Read more: Families and doctors are protesting Alabama’s transgender treatment ban
The cost of surgery is very expensive. The one-time cost for a female-to-male surgery is $180,000 to $200,000, and male-to-female surgery can be anywhere from $80,000 to $100,000, says Schriefer. Some of Grindr’s new benefits also include name changes on legal documents, hormone therapy, new clothes in the wardrobe, and voice therapy.
While Tinder and Bumble are both LGBTQ+ friendly, Grindr is more popular in the community, but it is facing user privacy issues when the Wall Street Journal reports that a digital advertiser sold location data that could affect the user’s identity.
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