Obama Admin. Will Require Insurance Companies To Cover Transgender Treatments

I can almost hear the sounds of Republican heads exploding as a new regulation is on the horizon requiring insurers to cover gender-affirming treatments for transgender individuals. Up until now, civil rights legislation has prevented health insurers from discriminating against an individual based on sex (thanks Obamacare), race, national origin, disability or age. Sex discrimination will soon specifically encompass discrimination based on gender identity.

They already hate what President Obama has accomplished through Obamacare, and Lord knows they aren’t the friendliest to the transgender community. So this new regulation makes it all the more special.

According to Vox:

The Obama administration’s fact sheet on the new provision says that “those categorical exclusions are prohibited under the proposed rule.” This does not necessarily translate into blanket coverage for all services related to gender affirmation. Health insurers will often only cover a certain type of treatment for a given condition and refuse to cover others. This happens a lot, like when insurers won’t cover a brand-name drug if there’s a generic, or require patients to see a primary care doctor before allowing coverage for a specialist.

Statistics show that the cost of trans-specific treatments can range anywhere from $25,00o to over $75,000, not including other medically preventative services. With gender identity discrimination being eliminated, the burden of cost can and will be greatly reduced, allowing transgender individuals to no longer worry about being shackled with medical debts.

Many insurers specifically exclude coverage for treatments “related to sexual assignment” or “sex transformations,” as cited in a paper by the Center for American Progress. Only 10 states plus Washington, D.C., require private insurers to cover transgender health care. Six other states cover the services through Medicaid.

Although the final details have yet to be ironed out, the Obama Administration hopes (after comment and revision) that a plan will be official as early as 2016. Because the details have yet to all come to light, it is unclear exactly what services will be covered, be it hormone treatments, sex-reassignment surgery, etc.

Nonetheless, this is an amazing first step in ending discrimination against men and women taking the necessary steps to transition and live in their personal truth.

Featured image via Wikipedia