Binary Gender in a Non-Binary World
Updated: Jan 4, 2022
We were asked the other day why our enrollment system only allows for binary gender choice in a world that is increasingly non-binary.
It is a simple explanation but one that we think is worth sharing.
As an online enrollment system, Benelogic (and anyone else in this role) sits between client systems (payroll or human resource information systems) and carrier systems where eligibility and claims are processed. We intake data from the client and we output it to carriers in the format and specifications they dictate. Benelogic’s role, and the role of any other online vendor, is to transact data between systems in a manner that is meaningful to each end point. In plain speak, we can only provide data in the format it already is programmed to expect.
Today, in medical systems, binary gender is used to assign health care coverage, specifically as it relates to gender. For example, a person with a female gender designation will be approved for annual well woman exams while someone with a male gender designation will not.
That is today. We believe it is simply a matter of time before client systems and carrier systems broaden their field definitions to encompass the more inclusive perspectives of the modern age. When that happens, Benelogic is ready to alter our data model to accommodate them. In the meantime, if this topic raises your hackles, we suggest you share your feedback with your medical carrier. That’s our bet for where change will originate!
We will always follow where the data leads us.