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HHS: Affordable Care Act bans discrimination based on gender identity

August 6, 2012

Have you ever been discriminated against in our health care system?

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently confirmed that the Affordable Care Act’s ban on sex-based discrimination includes discrimination based on gender identity. This affirms the Task Force’s longstanding position that federal civil rights statutes that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex include protections against discrimination on the basis of gender identity. This means that no one can be discriminated against because of their gender identity or because of a health care provider’s stereotype about sex – what a man or a woman “ought to look like.”

Back in June, the Task Force and our New Beginning Initiative coalition partners sent HHS a letter asking for exactly this clarification. We’re thrilled they agree with us and numerous federal courts that have issued similar opinions clarifying that sex-based discrimination protections also address gender identity as well.

Image of protections across the country for transgender people

We encourage anyone who feels they have been discriminated against because of their gender identity to file complaints so it can be investigated. Have you been discriminated against in a health setting in the past? We ask that you file a complaint with the HHS Office of Civil Rights at:

9 Comments leave one →
  1. Zander Keig permalink
    August 6, 2012 3:56 pm

    Reblogged this on Zander's Blog and commented:
    Good News!!!

  2. August 6, 2012 4:15 pm

    Reblogged this on kristophersar and commented:
    This is great news, and another reason less to be afraid of getting health care coverage. But I know a lot of Transgender folk are wondering about a few questions, mainly: Does this cover SRS and hormones? I’m wanting to know! Just so happens I was researching all my options before I read this!

    • Josie permalink
      August 9, 2012 12:53 pm

      At this point it probably does not cover SRS or Hormones. But it means that you cannot be turned away or refused treatment (believe me this happens) because you are Transgender. That is a terrific. Most insurance companies a who block coverage for SRS and treatment related to transgender due to orders from the corporation who purchases the coverage for their employees. They select the exclusions and the coverage which they are willing to pay.

  3. Daria Johnson permalink
    August 6, 2012 5:16 pm

    Consider that “Medical Necessity” is a key term in TS healthcare, and the Federal tax court ruling that GRS is deductible as ‘medically necessary’; given this, under universal healthcare any denial of such coverage as may be ‘medically necessary’ might be challenged as discriminatory.

  4. Brian permalink
    August 6, 2012 6:09 pm

    This ruling just covers discrimation. In terms of coverage for services, you are talking about the current battle at the state level to define “essential health benefits.” Those determinations will matter to what services are covered (hormones, etc.). Many national organizations like NGLTF, the National Coalition for LGBT HEalth, and GLMA are working to make sure “essential health benefits” includes services for transgender people.

  5. Shannon permalink
    August 6, 2012 6:16 pm

    Does this mean HRT and SRS will be covered?

  6. Jamie Tyroler permalink
    August 6, 2012 10:06 pm

    Does this get rid of the gender based tests like mammograms for only people that Medicare or Medicaid show as female?

  7. Makayla permalink
    August 7, 2012 1:08 pm

    my insurance covers the hormones and mammograms but will it now cover a srs as well?

  8. aleck permalink
    September 4, 2012 8:49 pm

    can they still deny you because you have been diagnosed with G.I.D?

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