November 13, 2014
The National Center for Transgender Equality expresses our disappointment that virtually every Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB) plan has failed to update their coverage to stop excluding medically necessary healthcare for transgender federal employees. Disregarding OPM’s June 2013 invitation to insurance companies to drop discriminatory trans health exclusions, the majority of FEHB plans that were announced have retained these outdated and wrong trans health exclusions.
NCTE calls on the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to take stronger proactive steps to end discrimination against their transgender employees and cover trans health care needs. We urge federal employees who have been denied necessary care due to an exclusion to immediately file an EEO complaint with OPM.
In June 2013, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) provided notice to insurance companies who have Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB) plans that OPM will no longer require insurance carriers to have blanket exclusions on trans-related care. Advocates, including NCTE, celebrated this change, which gave insurance companies the opportunity to modernize their health benefits ahead of open season that begins this month.
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June 18, 2014
Many of the existing inclusions for LGB—and particularly—T people have been hard won over the last 20 years. On Monday, June 16, four major organizations met to take stock of the history and trajectory for LGBT inclusions in healthcare.
On the open community call, “With Medicare Done: How We Can Win the Rest,” NCTE’s Mara Keisling moderated the discussion among Jennifer Levi, Director of the Transgender Rights Project at Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), Andrew Cray, Policy Analyst for LGBT Progress with Center for American Progress (CAP), and Beck Bailey, Deputy Director of the Workplace Project with Human Rights Campaign (HRC).
The discussion opened with a summary of the recent widespread progress, including the Obama administration’s announcement yesterday of his intention to issue an executive order to protect LGBT people employed by federal contractors and the Medicare decision issued 12 days ago.
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April 9, 2014
Last week, NCTE celebrated the historic enrollment of over 7 million Americans in the Affordable Care Act with President Obama at the White House Rose Garden. President Obama, joined by Vice President Joe Biden, gave remarks on the incredible success of the healthcare reform bill, Affordable Care Act also known as “Obamacare.” To date, 7.1 million Americans have enrolled in health coverage through the marketplace exchanges, surpassing the Administration’s expectations they set the previous summer.
The President expressed his excitement for the 7.1 million figure as well as for the larger implications of ACA’s success, stating : “Under this law, the share of Americans with insurance is up and the growth of health care costs is down, and that’s good for our middle class and that’s good for our fiscal future.”
Photo: Chuck Kennedy
Although the period for 2014 open enrollment has closed, plans can still be purchased through the exchange in the event of a qualifying change in life circumstances. People who attempted to enroll by the deadline but were unable to due to technical problems with the enrollment website, or because enrollment centers were backed up will receive extensions without facing the nominal tax penalty. Medicaid plans are also available year-round for those who qualify, and eligibility is greatly expanded in 26 states.
Learn more about your healthcare rights here.
Learn more about LGBT-specific healtcare enrollment information here.
March 11, 2014
On Thursday, Human Rights Campaign (HRC) launched a new online video series entitled, “Debunking the Myths: Transgender Health & Well-Being.” The series seeks to address the stereotypes and misconceptions faced by transgender and gender nonconforming people. HRC plans to release additional videos throughout March 2014.
You can watch the first video in the series below:
February 27, 2014
Today, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray announced that public and private health insurance plans that the D.C. government regulates–including Medicaid, D.C. government employee insurance, and private plans sold on D.C.’s health exchange–are required to cover transition-related care.
The new announcement makes D.C. healthcare coverage the most comprehensive plans for transgender Americans in the United States, a direct result of concerted advocacy from local activists, the National Center for Transgender Equality, or NCTE, and the Center for American Progress and other allies.
“This victory reaffirms growing agreement among advocates and the medical community that D.C.’s healthcare nondiscrimination laws require that insurance cover medically necessary transgender healthcare,” said Andy Bowen, NCTE Policy Associate.
“This policy will make D.C.’s healthcare programs and insurance coverage the most comprehensive in the country for the full scope of health care that transgender people need throughout their lives,” said Andrew Cray, Policy Analyst at CAP’s LGBT Research and Communications Project. “But more importantly, this announcement tells transgender people in the District that their health matters.”
In a bulletin released today, D.C.’s Department of Insurance, Securities, and Banking, or DISB, explains that it will view “attempts by companies to limit or deny medically necessary treatments for gender dysphoria, including gender reassignment surgeries, to be discriminatory.” Beyond that, DISB affirms, “it is the position of the Department that treatment for gender dysphoria, including gender reassignment surgeries, is a covered benefit…”
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