APNewsBreak: Coverage for gender surgery jumps

By LISA LEFF | December 7, 2011 | 9:15 PM EST

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A new scorecard compiled by the nation's largest gay rights group shows the number of major U.S. companies covering the cost of gender reassignment surgery for transgender workers has more than doubled in the past year.

The Human Rights Campaign says in a report to be published Thursday that 207 of the 636 businesses it surveyed for its annual Corporate Equality Index either are providing transgender-inclusive employee health benefits or plan to at the start of next year.

Last year, 85 companies had insurance plans that paid for sex transformation surgeries. Only 49 did in 2009. A decade ago, when the campaign launched the index, none did.

Among the corporations that expanded their insurance coverage this year are Apple, Chevron, General Mills, Dow Chemical, American Airlines, Kellogg and Office Depot.