Google Sets Transgender "Gold Standard"

Google has stepped its game up in increasing health care coverage for its transgender employees in the U.S., with other companies expected to follow suit.

Announced internally by company officials Friday and effective immediately, transition-related procedures such as genital surgery and facial feminization for trans women and pectoral surgery for transgender man will be covered under the updated benefits, which are in compliance with the World Professional Association for Transgender Health's standards of care.

According to WPATH such procedures can be considered medical necessities because of “unique clinical situation of a given patient’s condition and life situation,” according to the organization's seventh version of care standards, published in September.

Google spokesman Jordan Newman told The Advocate "“As the WPATH Standards of Care are considered the highest standards of care for transgender individuals, we agreed to cover the full range of procedures under WPATH.”

The company also plans to more than double the maximum amount for transgender health care benefits from $35,000 to $75,000. Right now there is no timeline for when Google when extend the new benefits to its international employees.