The federal government will begin letting insurance companies who have Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB) plans consider trans health care needs just like other types of medical care. They will no longer require the insurance carriers to have a blanket exclusion for trans-related care. This is a significant win for trans federal employees who have long faced discrimination from the FEHB plans.
NCTE Executive Director Mara Keisling said, “Fixing the FEHB plans have been a priority for us for years. First of all, it was a priority because transgender federal employees need healthcare, but also, this was one of the few remaining areas where the federal government was the actual discriminator, giving trans employees lesser benefits than non-trans employees. “
NCTE commends the Obama Administration and especially the Office of Personnel Management for taking this major step toward modernizing the health benefits to provide needed medical treatments. Though this new policy allows insurance companies to drop the exclusion, they are not yet required to do so; NCTE urges OPM to, with next year’s insurance process, to require all insurance companies to drop the exclusion.