Insurance rules on gender identity clarified
The Washington state insurance commissioner has sent a reminder to health-insurance companies saying they cannot discriminate based on gender identity.
The Associated Press
Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler sent a letter to health-insurance companies on Wednesday reminding them of laws that protect people from being discriminated against based on gender identity.
Kreidler told the insurers they are not required to cover sexual-reassignment surgery, but they do have to give transgender people the same access to health care as everyone else.
Services covered for others — hormone therapy or breast reconstruction, for example — must be covered for transgender people as well.
He notes that many Washington employers have already taken action to prevent discrimination against transgender people on their payrolls. Medicare recently lifted a ban on coverage for sex reassignment.
Kreidler says his office is reviewing all 2015 individual and small-employer health plans to look for discriminatory exclusions.