Many people are facing lengthy battles with insurers regarding the coverage of certain procedures and medications.
Across the United States, there are an estimated 700,000 people who are transgender, and many of those consumers have been facing considerable struggles as the latest health insurance trends are not providing coverage for certain medications and procedures that are commonly needed by these individuals.
As the public becomes more aware of this population, it is increasingly evident that insurance coverage is highly complex.
When it comes to procedures related to transgender people, the current health insurance trends appear to be leading consumers through an extremely complex web of technicalities and industry jargon that is making it very challenging to obtain the necessary coverage. There are some insurance companies that offer coverage for gender reassignment surgery and other related procedures. However, at the same time, the majority do not cover procedures such as mastectomies for transmen (people who identify as men but who were born female), or face feminization for transwomen (people who identify as women but who were born male).
Health insurance trends appear to be confusing or incomplete for the type of coverage needed by transgender people.
Another example is that while some health insurance companies will provide coverage for certain mental health therapies and hormonal treatments, they will not pay for the surgeries that are involved in gender reassignment.
According to the president of Dallas advocacy group, Trans Pride Initiative, Nell Gaither, “When health care really stresses biology, it leaves a large portion of us out.” Gaither added that “Our lives depend on medical intervention. One way or another, we’ll figure out how to get the treatment we need. (But) when insurance doesn’t work, a lot of people turn to the Internet, and that’s extremely dangerous.”
That said, reps from insurers have said that they are keeping up with the latest standards in health insurance trends, including compliance with the Affordable Care Act, which states that providers are not permitted to discriminate based on stereotypes or gender identity. Equally, some insurance companies – for example, Cigna and Aetna – have already widened their plans so that there is broader transgender-related coverage available.