Monday, April 27, 2009

Unusual perks: Goldman Sachs covers sex changes

NEW YORK (Fortune) -- Wall Street is typically considered a pretty conservative place to work. But the classic white-shoe investment bank is loosening things up by adding health benefits that cover sex-change operations.

Not only is Goldman Sachs ranked No. 9 on Fortune's list of 100 Best Companies to Work For, it also appears on what could be a list of transgendered job-seekers' ideal employers as well.

Goldman added health-insurance coverage of sex reassignment surgery as part of a push last year to attract top talent and recruit and retain a more diverse workforce, the company said.

The surgery alone could cost an individual anywhere from $5,000 to $150,000 if they paid out of pocket, depending on their particular situation, said Pauline Park, chair of the New York Association for Gender Rights Advocacy, a group that campaigns for transgender rights. That figure doesn't include hormone and other drug treatments.

Goldman Sachs (GS, Fortune 500)' plan covers the actual surgery, as well as transgender-related prescription drugs, such as testosterone injections, said spokeswoman Gia Morón. It does not cover electrolysis and other cosmetic treatments, she said.

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