As a Certified Insurance Agent for Covered California I am scrupulous when it comes to reading each question on the application for health insurance exactly as written, except when the Covered California application asks for the sex of the applicant. Instead, I ask for the person’s or dependent’s gender. Covered California should stop asking about a person’s sex and allow them to specify a gender.
Covered California has sent Certified Insurance Agents information and links on sensitivity and sales training for the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual and Transgender community. The sensitivity training presentation and social media icons were developed by Out2Enroll a national organization encouraging the enrollment of the LGBT community into Marketplace health insurance. While the overall information is good, there is underlying sales element that reduces the community down to dollar signs instead of human beings.
The Department of Health and Human Services has proposed health insurance rules that would prohibit the discrimination of health care services based a person’s gender identity. The proposed non-discrimination rule would apply nationwide to all health insurance offered through ACA Health Insurance Marketplaces. If the rule is adopted, transgender health related services could not be denied even in states that have not specifically enacted non-discrimination legislation.
With the passage of the Insurance Gender Nondiscrimination Act (IGNA), also known as AB 1586, all California health insurance plans must cover medically necessary transgender health care services. Unfortunately, many health plan customer service representatives and many health care providers are not aware of the law and have erroneously denied or delayed coverage and treatment […]
Anthem Blue Cross of California has included a section called Transgender Services in their Evidence of Coverage (EOC) documents for individual and family plans offered in California for 2015. While the seven paragraph section doesn’t provide a lot of details, it is a major step toward recognizing that individual plans must include such coverage to address the medically […]
An unexpected gift to my professional and personal life this past year of 2014 has been the numerous transgender men, women and families I became acquainted with as a health insurance agent. Through numerous conversations and correspondence I realized we had more in common with the transgender community than I previously thought. In reality, most of […]
The federal government is reaching out to behavioral health counselors and therapist to educate them on how the Affordable Care Act works so they can encourage members of the LGBT community to enroll in an ACA health plans. Sometimes the professionals who provide important health services through health plans offered through Healthcare.gov and CoveredCa.com can be the […]
Occasionally we all need a reminder that our lives are not the center of the universe and our neighbor’s journey may have had challenges that would make most us wilt. Rizi Timane’s ebook “An Unspoken Compromise” is a short but illuminating account of his journey from young Nigerian girl to adult man. As a transgender man, the unspoken compromise allows the author to maintain a silk thin connection with his fundamentalist Christian parents as he finally transitions in the United States.
Solid information is hard to come by when it relates to what health insurance plans will cover for gender reassignment surgery in California. In response to the Insurance Gender Non-Discrimination Act passed by California in 2013, some health plans have created detailed medical policies for transgender health benefits. For a variety of reasons the health insurance companies don’t make their policies readily available to the general public. I was able to locate two detailed outlines issued by Blue Shield of California relating to gender reassignment surgery.
Fortunately for the transgender population in Sacramento, the Gender Health Center (GHC) is a great resource for counseling and support.