Noah is a young transgender man living in Seattle. He has long known that he is male, even though he was assigned a different sex at birth. At the recommendation of his health care providers, Noah had chest reconstruction surgery to affirm his gender at age 17. Noah's mother, Maggie, has health insurance for their family from Group Health. She sought authorization for insurance coverage of the surgery, but her request was denied on the grounds that Noah had not yet turned 18.
We are still celebrating this month's defeat of Initiative 1515, which would have rolled back protections for transgender Washingtonians that allow them to use restrooms consistent with their gender identity. But we know that transgender people don't just face discrimination and humiliation in restrooms—they often face these same barriers when accessing health care. Over the last two years, we have made a lot of progress in fighting refusals to provide health care to transgen
Until recently, nearly all public and private health plans in Washington State excluded coverage for gender transition-related care. These unfair policies not only ignored evidence that transition-related care is medically necessary and life-saving for many transgender people, but they also ran afoul of laws that prohibit discrimination based on gender identity and sex. Legal Voice is proud to be a founding member of the Coalition for Inclusive Healthcare, which has worked to
In the past year, we’ve made great progress in fighting discrimination in health care against transgender people in Washington. And we are excited to announce another victory for our client V.J.! V.J. is a transgender woman in her early 20s. After years of counseling and hormone therapy, her health care providers agreed that sex reassignment surgery was a medically necessary treatment. But when she sought coverage for the surgery under her health plan from Sound Health & Well
Washington’s Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB) voted unanimously to provide inclusive health benefits for transgender people covered by PEBB plans. The board approved providing coverage for treatment of gender dysphoria, a well-recognized medical condition in which the sex a person is assigned at birth does not match the gender they know themselves to be. Plans will cover non-surgical services to treat gender dysphoria by January 1, 2015, with coverage for surgical servi
Legal Voice, our partners in the Coalition for Inclusive Healthcare, and transgender Washingtonians won an important victory today when Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler made an announcement clarifying that health insurance policies sold in Washington State cannot discriminate against transgender people. Though insurance discrimination based on gender identity has been banned in Washington since 2006, private health insurance policies routinely include cla