Saturday May 12th SF Pride at Work/HAVOQ came out to Kaiser Geary Medical Center with lots of pink, teal and music to demand that Kaiser stop discriminating against transgender folks in their health care plans. We picketed and flagged out front with the Brass Liberation Orchestra letting patients, staff and passersby know about how Kaiser’s policies continue to hurt transgender people. We took over the lobby before leaving, and informed Kaiser that we will be back.
SF Pride at Work got involved in this issue last year when supporting a Pride at Work member who worked for many years for the City of Berkeley. When she went to get some of her medical needs met, she found out that the health plan she had with Kaiser for Berkeley workers discriminates against transgender people and she began a long campaign to change this. Even after the city council agreed to provide a health care plan that served all workers, it took long negotiations with Kaiser before they were willing to provide a plan. Last year Pride at Work let Kaiser know that the local queer and trans community is concerned about this by writing them a letter, running a petition and visiting their Northern California offices. Kaiser representatives promised us a response but we never got one. Kaiser did finally agree to offer a plan that doesn’t discriminate this spring, due in great part to the hard work of the Transgender Law Center on this issue.
Now we want Kaiser to stop discriminating in all of their health care plans. Every health care provider has a list of exclusions: products and services they will not cover under any circumstances. Kaiser includes healthcare needs of transgender people on this list.
No other group of people is singled out in Kaiser’s list of exclusions to have medically necessary treatment denied. This is a serious civil rights issue. We call on Kaiser to stop discriminating against transgender people by removing this exclusion of care, and provide all medically necessary treatment sought by their transgender patients and recommended by their doctors, as defined by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH).