iA Financial Group launches inclusive coverages supporting gender affirmation and family

New coverages 'undeniable asset' for organizations seeking to reinforce equity, diversity, inclusion strategies

iA Financial Group launches inclusive coverages supporting gender affirmation and family

This article was created in partnership with iA Financial Group

iA Financial Group recently announced the launch of new inclusive coverages that support both gender affirmation and the desire to found or expand a family, making them one of the few insurers to offer these coverages.  

“We want to help employers support employees in their personal and family development,” says Janie Bilodeau, Vice-President, Client Experience, Marketing and Products, Group Benefits and Retirement Solutions (GBRS).

As a business unit of iA Financial Group, GBRS — which boasts a strong presence in the market with 1,100 employees, 15,000 groups, and 2M plan members and their family members — has a clear ambition: to be present and active in the lives of Canadians, promoting their physical, mental, and financial wellbeing through a wide range of products, services, and digital solutions. Offering a range of innovative coverages that give people options and validate their experiences is key for iA Financial Group.

“And these coverages are an undeniable asset for organizations wishing to deploy or reinforce their equity, diversity and inclusion strategy,” Bilodeau says, adding that each organization can select the coverage that best meets the diverse needs of its employees, because each one is offered à la carte.

This ability to customize the scope of coverage sets iA Financial Group, one of the largest insurance and wealth management groups in Canada, apart in the market. Taking that bespoke approach a step further, Bilodeau notes “we also offer a flexible formula that allows organizations to choose the maximum amounts for each of the coverages, another differentiating feature."

Gender affirmation support

According to Statistics Canada, 1 in 300 people aged 15 and over identify themselves as transgender or non-binary. The steps involved in gender affirmation vary from person to person and a wide range of care and treatment options can be considered, but the associated costs are sometimes an obstacle.

This coverage provides reimbursement for feminization or masculinization surgery, as well as for gender-affirming care and treatment, for the employee and their dependents. In the workplace, it’s a fact that bringing one’s whole, authentic self is a benefit to individuals as well as to the organizations they work for. Providing employees with the ability to affirm their gender is a way for employers to provide support, demonstrate inclusivity, and future-proof the organization.

Family support

According to the World Health Organization, more than one person in six (17.5%) is affected by infertility and for those affected, fulfilling their desire to begin or expand a family often involves complex, lengthy, and costly procedures such as fertility treatments, surrogacy, or adoption.

If the employee decides to undergo fertility and surrogate pregnancy, the coverage provide reimbursement of expenses incurred for fertility drugs, insemination, fertilization, and care and services provided by health professionals.

If adoption is the route the employee prefers, coverage includes reimbursement of fees paid to an adoption agency as well as legal, administrative, document translation, and citizenship fees for the child.

Complementary health and wellbeing support

Diversity, equity, and inclusion doesn’t stop at offering the latest and greatest coverages. Each person experiences a unique reality when trying to affirm their gender or found or expand a family and are at a vulnerable time in their life when facing either scenario. These situations are often accompanied by many emotions and challenges.

To better support individuals who will benefit from the new inclusive coverages, iA Financial Group strongly recommends that plan sponsors enhance their health and wellbeing coverages. Offering life lines like access to psychological support services, an employee and family assistance program, and telemedicine is another way to show employees that the organization is there for them beyond covering the cost of a procedure.

"At iA Financial Group, we recognize the importance of promoting inclusiveness and supporting the different life paths of the people who make up our customer base,” says Bilodeau, adding that this only marks the beginning for this line of coverage, with upcoming plans to introduce new and enhanced EDI-related offerings in the near future.

“We're proud to offer inclusive coverages that demonstrate our commitment to providing innovative solutions that meet their changing needs, so that each and every one of them can flourish and realize their full potential.”

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