Tuesday, May 21, 2019
 
search SGN
SERVING SEATTLE AND THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST FOR 40 YEARS!

click to visit advertiser's website


Javascript DHTML Drop Down Menu Powered by dhtml-menu-builder.com

Last Weeks Edition
   
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website




 

 
 

 

 

[Valid RSS]

click to go to advertisers website
to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, November 7 2014 - Volume 42 Issue 45
Health insurer Aetna ends Transgender discrimination
Section One
ALL STORIES
  next story
Health insurer Aetna ends Transgender discrimination

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

Aetna, an American managed health care company, which sells traditional and consumer-directed health care insurance plans and related services (medical, pharmaceutical, dental, behavioral health, long-term care and disability plans) announced this week it will start covering gender reassignment surgery next year for federal workers on the insurer's plans. And the company said it will begin rolling out this coverage to many of its commercial plans over the next couple of years.

Health insurance plans have denied coverage for gender reassignment benefits for years. But now regulators in eight states and the District of Columbia ban discrimination against treatments for gender reassignment. In the past four years, the number of large employers covering sex reassignment surgery in their health plans grew from 49 to 340, including at 28 percent of Fortune 500 firms. The reason? The medical community began recognizing 'gender identity disorder' as a 'diagnosable condition.'

In short, there has been a growing acknowledgement recently among employers and policymakers that insurers need to be covering these treatments.

This year, the U.S. government weighed in considerably. In May, Medicare reversed a decades-old ban on covering gender reassignment surgery in response to a 2013 lawsuit, putting pressure on more insurers to ensure Transgender Americans equal benefits.

The State Department announced earlier this month it would drop the coverage exclusion from its largest health insurance plan, which covers about 31 percent of its workforce.

In June, the federal government announced it would no longer prohibit its health plans from offering gender reassignment benefits. The agency operating the Federal Employee Health Benefits program, which covers more than 8 million people (Transgender Americans make up 0.3 percent of the adult population) cited the 'evolving professional consensus' that treatment is medically necessary for people with gender identity disorder.

Advocates for Transgender rights criticized the Office of Personnel Management policy, saying it was a half-measure, pointing out that the OPM could have mandated that federal employee health plans provide this coverage. Instead, advocates chided, it offered only the invitation for insurers to step up.

'In a way, what OPM did was really modest,' said Harper Jean Tobin, director of policy at the National Center for Transgender Equality. 'For years, they told plans that you have to discriminate against employees in the benefit package you offer. Now OPM said, 'At the very least, we're going to say you don't have to do that anymore.'

Insurers were required to notify OPM by June 30, and details of 2015 health plans are starting to trickle out now and it does look like change is coming. Enrollees should check the OPM website for plan details when they're available, the agency advised.

Without insurance, Transgender Americans face tremendous out-of-pocket costs for gender reassignment treatment/surgery. While some people may only choose hormone therapy (which costs hundreds of dollars a year), the cost of surgery, for those needing it, could be tens of thousands of dollars.

It should be noted that employers that added transition-related coverage report very low costs tied to the benefits, according to a 2013 study from the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law. Interestingly, very few have actually used the benefit, the researchers found.

Tell a friend:

Share on Facebook  Share on Facebook

Post to MySpace!Share on MySpace!

    Share on Delicious

Share on StumbleUpon!

Sixth Circuit upholds marriage bans
------------------------------
Once-a-quarter injectable PrEP drug promising, early tests show
------------------------------
Election 2014: The more things change, the more they stay the same
------------------------------
Loss of a true leader
------------------------------
INSIGHTS AND PERSPECTIVES: Relationship Inventory - Control
------------------------------
THE AMAZON TRAIL: Cheeseburgers in Paradise: Cate Culpepper 1957-2014
------------------------------
Puddletown Squares to perform at the 125th Anniversary of Washington Statehood Celebration in Olympia Seattle's LGBT Square Dancing Club to offer FREE Square Dancing Evening in Seattle
------------------------------
The Seattle Public Library presents Richard Blanco's new memoir The Prince of Los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood on November 10
------------------------------
Kansas and Missouri marriage bans struck down
------------------------------
Health insurer Aetna ends Transgender discrimination
------------------------------
Lambda Legal sues Social Security Administration on behalf of Gay Chicago widower
------------------------------
Houston will defy Texas state judge on same-sex benefits
------------------------------
BC denies accreditation to anti-Gay Christian law school
------------------------------
Ghosts of the past haunt Chile: Dictator's grandson forms right wing anti-Gay party
------------------------------
What the Seattle Preschool Program means for Gay parents
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
BREAKING NEWS
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

click to visit advertiser's website

click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
Seattle Gay Blog post your own information on
the Seattle Gay Blog
 
 

gay news feeds gay news readers gay rss gay
http://sgn.org/rss.xml | what is RSS? | Add to Google use Google to set up your RSS feed
SGN Calendar For Mobile Phones http://sgn.org/rssCalendarMobile.xml
SGN Calendar http://sgn.org/rssCalendar.xml

Seattle Gay News - SGN
1605 12 Ave., Ste. 31
Seattle, WA 98122

Phone 206-324-4297
Fax 206-322-7188

email: sgn2@sgn.org
website suggestions: web@sgn.org

copyright Seattle Gay News 2014 - DigitalTeamWorks 2014

USA Gay News American News American Gay News USA American Gay News United States American Lesbian News USA American Lesbian News United States USA News
Pacific Northwest News in Seattle News in Washington State News