Affordable Care Act Expands Healthcare Rights of LGBT Communities:
The Department of Health and Human Services has confirmed that the prohibition on sex-based discrimination under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) includes gender identity. This means this means that any hospital, clinic or healthcare program receiving federal funding cannot legally discriminate against transgender people or anyone who doesn’t conform to gender stereotypes. LGBT people will be legally protected from denial of coverage, disparities in rates, harassment or refusal to provide coverage provided to other patients, among other things. The provisions that require insurers to provide coverage offered in their plans to all their patients regardless of gender-identity may increase transgender patients ability to receive services that have been routinely denied in the past. For more details check out this very thorough newsletter from the National Center for Transgender Equality.
However the Affordable Care Act does not currently ensure that transgender exclusions that prevent coverage of transition related services will be removed from insurance plans. The struggle against discrimination continues!
Many provisions of the Affordable Care Act are decided on a state level by a board. This August a few of us from SF Pride at Work went to Sacramento to check out the hearing of the board, and spoke up to support the recommendations of the Transgender Law Center. We are keeping our eye on the implementation of the ACA in California, contact us if you want to stay in the loop and be involved in any potential community actions on this issue.
Trans Exclusions Removed from Healthy San Francisco!
On July 24th 2012 San Francisco supervisors unanimously voted to require the Department of Public Health to remove transgender exclusions from Healthy San Francisco. Healthy San Francisco is a healthcare access program that provides coverage to uninsured residents of San Francisco. The removal of transgender exclusions means that participants in Healthy San Francisco will now be able to get coverage for some transition related care that was previously not covered. However community support may be needed to make sure that transgender healthcare coverage is implemented in timely way. Contact us to support.