More U.S. employers cover sex transition surgery – Wyatt Buchanan, Chronicle Staff Writer

Large corporations follow city’s lead in offering benefit

People who change their gender must undergo rigorous mental health evaluations and trial periods that last years, and they sometimes face stigma, but the biggest challenge for many is paying for the process.

In the past few years, however, following the model of San Francisco, some of the world’s largest employers have begun covering surgical procedures, including gender-reassignment surgery, and a host of other related care.

When San Francisco became the first major American employer known to offer comprehensive coverage for gender transitions in 2001, some city officials feared that people who wanted to transition would flock here for work and bankrupt the city’s insurance fund. But it turned out that covering transition surgeries and other treatment — which can cost more than $50,000 — cost the city relatively little, because there was no flood of claims.