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4 ways to foster health equity for LGBTQIA+ employees

January 18, 2024 | 2 min read

Research shows that LGBTQIA+ employees are among those who report not receiving the healthcare services they need. [1] This means that two people with the same job at the same company may receive very different care for the same condition. Closing these healthcare gaps for the LGBTQIA+ population is essential to ensuring that every employee receives the best care possible.

Experts from Accolade and FOLX Health—part of our Trusted Partner Ecosystem—recently hosted a webinar to discuss these issues. Here are a few tips from that conversation to help employers give all their employees access to high-quality healthcare experiences.

  1. Embrace virtual healthcare options: For many LGBTQIA+ employees, navigating traditional brick-and-mortar care settings can be fraught with anxiety and potential barriers. A wellness platform with virtual options and concordant care—a shared identity between patient and provider—gives employees a comfortable way to access healthcare. So, people can seek care on their own terms, with allies, in a place that is private and safe.

  2. Offer a feedback loop: Benefits are just a part of enabling equitable care. It’s important to understand if those benefits work for every employee. This means allowing for open communication that helps you understand your LGBTQIA+ employees’ needs. Regular surveys, focus groups, and anonymous feedback forms can supply valuable insight into how well your benefits are serving a diverse workforce.

  3. Make benefits less confusing: The healthcare system can be confusing and stressful. In fact, Savanta conducted an employer healthcare survey on behalf of Accolade and found that 49% of employees feel overwhelmed managing healthcare for themselves and their family members. Offering advocacy and navigation resources helps people understand what care is available and how they can access it. This empowers employees to access the care they need.

  4. Champion gender-affirming care: Every type of care should be gender affirming. That means offering care that includes asking about someone’s pronouns and identity. For transgender and non-binary employees, access to gender-affirming hormone therapy, surgery, and mental care can be life changing. An employer that offers comprehensive coverage and healthcare access shows their commitment to inclusivity.

Offering healthcare options that help all people feel safe and valued is the right thing to do for your workforce. It’s also the right thing to do for your organization’s bottom line because people who get the right kind of healthcare are more satisfied and more productive. Learn more about implementing solutions that affirm LGBTQIA+ healthcare by listening to the complete webinar.

[1] https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/healthcare/our-insights/income-alone-may-be-insufficient-how-employers-can-help-advance-health-equity-in-the-workplace

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