In America’s increasingly expensive health care system, the costs of not having adequate insurance coverage are both financial and physical,reports the Center for American Progress. Without coverage, many people must choose between struggling to pay exorbitant medical bills or going without the care they need.
“Similar to millions of other Americans, many transgender people lack health insurance coverage. But even when they are able to find coverage, the promise of more secure access to care and protection from unaffordable medical bills often rings hollow. This is because the majority of U.S. health insurance plans deny coverage for medical procedures and treatments seen as specific to transgender people.
“This brief provides an overview of insurance discrimination against transgender people; the impact of the Affordable Care Act on insurance discrimination; and how some state insurance regulators are taking action to stop gender-identity discrimination in insurance.
“Currently, most private insurance plans, as well as many state Medicaid programs, incorporate plan language that specifically targets transgender people by excluding, for example:
- “All services related to sexual reassignment”
- “Sex transformations”
- “Any treatment or procedure designed to alter an individual’s physical characteristics to those of the opposite sex”
- “Care, services or treatment for … gender dysphoria or sexual reassignment or change … including medications, implants, hormone therapy, surgery, medical or psychiatric treatment”
These categorical exclusions are based on the false premise that the health care services that transgender people need are not medically necessary and are never needed by nontransgender people. In fact, however, the health care services denied to transgender people under these exclusions are frequently needed by nontransgender people as well.”