Access to quality healthcare and insurance has always been a huge problem in India. To address this demand, some of the corporates in the country have taken several initiatives to provide affordable and easy access to healthcare benefits for their employees. However, a few companies offer these benefits to the LGBTQ community.

Plum, an employee health insurance company, is one of them. It includes health cover for its LGBTQ employees in its Group Health Insurance plans and makes it available to its clients.

Easily Accessible Healthcare Benefits

Plum has nearly 400 employees and is proud of the diverse team that has been built – whether it is gender, leadership, or even bringing in GenZ talent to the fold. Inclusion to them means walking the talk.

“As a first step, we are trying to create gender-neutral policies. We strongly believe that every organisation should strive for diversity and hire across communities. Many of the policies we are now coming up with are being built with the team,” Abhishek Poddar, Co-founder and CEO, Plum told The Logical Indian.

On average, Abhishek says only 1 in 10 companies proactively asks for the LGBTQ benefit. But, at Plum, all the customers are counselled to take up these policies.

“So far, we’ve succeeded in getting 40% of our customer base to include it. We feel this contributes to better diversity and inclusion, and towards our customers’ goals of becoming people-first companies,” he said.

Telehealth Consultation Services

In addition, the company offers Telehealth consultation services to organisations to help their LGBTQ employees deal with mental health issues like depression and anxiety.

“Plum Telehealth is open to all employees and organisations with access to our dashboard. We do not differentiate these services by gender, and provide over 16 specialisations including sexual wellness, mental health, nutrition, psychiatry, among many others,” Abhishek said.

He said a Group Health Insurance cover is mandatory for peace of mind and to prevent a drain on family savings. The company has advised clients to increase maternity and parental covers and include LGBTQ benefits across policies. Apart from making a policy inclusive, it helps organisations customise benefits according to the needs of their employees.

The LGBTQ community collectively faces many healthcare challenges. Many have to undergo gender reassignment surgeries or take hormonal injections that affect their mental health. In addition, societal pressures and lack of equal opportunities play a role in influencing their mental well-being.

“Hiring more people from the community and also providing them with a healthcare cover can be a definite first step towards helping them,” Abhishek shared with The Logical Indian.

He added that policies can be built only when one has equal voices on the table. Regarding workplace policies, compliance and initiatives, it will not be worthwhile if consultation from across communities is not considered.

“Let the employees drive the change, just be their ally. Also, instead of looking for examples outside, we must set the benchmark and be the example ourselves,” he concluded.

Also Read: My Story: ‘Think Twice Before Throwing Anything, Little Creativity & Enthusiasm Can Transform Things Around’

By Percy