In a first for the Australian health insurance industry, HIF will provide new members greater choice, by enabling a third gender option on all of its contact points, catering for thousands of people who identify as neither male nor female.
Like other leading Australian organisations outside the private health insurance sector, HIF’s process allows people joining them to select a third gender category against their personal HIF recorded information.
The 2016 census was the first of its kind to provide the option for users to identify as male, female or other, while the Australian Bureau of Statistics introduced the same standard in collecting gender information earlier this year. The Australian Passport Office already allows Australian citizens to identify themselves on their passports as M, F or X.
Managing Director Graeme Gibson said HIF’s decision to update all of its member forms and data to include a third gender category, including online, was made following recent feedback from the LGBTI community and a confirmation amongst HIF’s leadership that HIF is committed to tailoring its offerings to individual preferences and/or circumstances.
“We understand that people who identify as neither male nor female currently feel unaccommodated by service providers and we wanted to respond,” Mr Gibson said.
“We’ve introduced a third gender category option which will allow our members to choose “male”, “female” or “other” when they join us and at other times.
“HIF members may select the “other” gender option if they choose to identify as neither male nor female, including (but not limited to) those who are agender, androgyne, bigender, gender fluid, intersex, neutrois, non-binary, pangender or transgender.”
Customers have also been given more choice when it comes to their title. HIF has introduced a new title option, Mx for people who do not identify with traditional titles such as Mr, Mrs, Miss, Ms, Prof., Dr., or Rev.
Mr Gibson said making these changes was an important way forward for HIF, to honour HIF’s commitment to championing inclusion, diversity and equality in the community, and to keep evolving with societal changes.
“At HIF we’re firm supporters of equality and we strive to make things as easy as possible for all our members. If by making these progressive changes, we make those who don’t identify with a gender feel properly recognised and more comfortable, then we feel it’ s been very worthwhile.
“By implementing this change now, HIF is the first private health insurance fund in Australia to provide a third gender option – something we are very proud of,” Mr Gibson said.
He said research data from Victoria showed that one-third of Australian transgender people currently identify as neither male nor female*, so providing new gender-neutral options would help to alleviate potential stress for those HIF members who might be affected.
DID YOU KNOW? Celebrities who identify as “gender-fluid” include Ruby Rose, Miley Cyrus, Tilda Swinton, Eddie Izzard, Pete Townshend (The Who) and Steven Tyler (Aerosmith).
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