People-Centered Care: Trans-Inclusive Healthcare Accessibility at Pride Foundation

Community drives our work in every sense of the word, and that means we take every effort to center people in every decision we make—from how we show up in community, to how we care for our staff team.  

As an organization, we know that supporting our team in every way we can is foundational to living out our values, and helps us ensure our team is set up to best serve our communities every day. With that in mind, we’re excited to share some of our inner working in hopes it will shine a light on gender affirming care and our responsibility as an employer to help folks navigate accessing that care. 

Our team has a deep understanding of the importance of gender affirming care, both from our day-to-day work and from our personal lived experiences. It is critical to our safety, our sense of self, our mental health, and our overall wellbeing. For so many it is, to put it simply, lifesaving. 

We also know that the insurance that makes gender affirming care accessible can be challenging to navigate, to say the least. Insurance navigators rarely have the knowledge or experience in helping trans and gender diverse people figure out how their insurance benefits can be used best to meet their needs, and this is especially true for gender affirming care.  

Understanding that our staff members experience different barriers to accessing our benefits and care, we’re working to ensure all team members have full access to their benefits and can get their healthcare needs met. With all this in mind, we are excited to be working with a consultant who specializes in helping trans and diverse people navigate insurance and gender affirming care.   

This consultant will help individual team members navigate things like providing one on one consultation for questions about accessing gender affirming care—anything from finding providers, to figuring out coverage, and helping predict costs. They can also provide support with appeals if someone experiences an unlawful denial of gender affirming care. 

They’re also working to create a navigation guide to help our full team understand the gender-affirming care benefits included in our specific insurance plan. This will include an overview of insurance basics, tips on how to locate a gender affirming provider, a review of included and excluded gender affirming services specific to our insurance plan, and an overview of how to appeal unlawful denials.  

It’s our hope that this process will help empower our whole team to better navigate our insurance benefits. As an employer, we know that inclusive policies and benefits are not enough. Our work is not done until we’ve created the conditions for everyone on our team to have access to those resources, and to have every opportunity to thrive. 

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