Stop Trans* Health-Care discrimination: A Demand to All Major Health Insurance Providers in the United States
  • Petitioned A Demand to All Major Health Insurance Providers in the United States

This petition was delivered to:

All US health insurance entities
A Demand to All Major Health Insurance Providers in the United States
President of the United States
U.S. Senate
U.S. House of Representatives

Stop Trans* Health-Care discrimination: A Demand to All Major Health Insurance Providers in the United States

    1. A. Rob
    2. Petition by

      A. Rob

      ROANOKE, VA

 

Transgender people are just that—people.  We deserve to live our lives with dignity, free from discrimination.  Transgender people deserve access to needed healthcare; denial is discrimination.  All health insurance providers should immediately remove restrictions on trans health services.

Some trans people experience dissonance between their subconscious sex -- everyone's internal sense of self as physically male, female, or both -- and their birth sex; those who do not have access to trans health services can experience clinically significant psychological distress, dysfunction, debilitating depression and, for some people without access to appropriate medical care and treatment, suicidality and death. 

The following are four major ways that trans people experience discrimination in healthcare:

Denial of health insurance coverage, where someone is denied any health insurance on the basis of gender identity. The Transgender Law Center has documented cases in which health insurance companies and medical providers have denied coverage to transgender people when they became aware of an applicant's transgender status or prior treatment and medical history related to gender transition. In 2007, the American Medical Association declared its opposition to this practice.

Denial of coverage for claims related to gender transition, including claims arising from complications from medical treatment for gender transition.

Denial of coverage for claims for gender-specific care based on the person's gender marker on insurance. For example, a male-to-female person who develops prostate cancer, or a female-to-male person who develops ovarian cancer.

Denial of coverage for claims unrelated to gender transition. For example, an insurer argues that a medical concern is the direct or indirect result of transgender-related treatment such as hormone therapy.” http://www.hrc.org/resources/entry/health-insurance-discrimination-for-transgender-people">Source

207 major employers [http://www.hrc.org/resources/entry/corporate-equality-index-2011">Source] and several major universities (Harvard, Stanford, Emerson, U. California, U. Michigan, U. Washington, and U. Pennsylvania) have pro-actively supported comprehensive trans health care. Trans people without access to healthcare from these pioneering institutions must not be left behind.

 

Support from American Medical Association (AMA) [Excerpted fromhttp://www.tgender.net/taw/ama_resolutions.pdf">Source]:

"Whereas, Health experts in GID [Gender Identity Disorder], including WPATH [World Professional Association for Transgender Health], have rejected the myth that such treatments are “cosmetic” or “experimental” and have recognized that these treatments can provide safe and effective treatment for a serious health condition"

"Whereas, The AMA opposes limitations placed on patient care by third-party payers when such care is based upon sound scientific evidence and sound medical opinion"

"Whereas, Many health insurance plans categorically exclude coverage of mental health, medical, and surgical treatments for GID, even though many of these same treatments, such as psychotherapy, hormone therapy, breast augmentation and removal, hysterectomy, oophorectomy, orchiectomy, and salpingectomy, are often covered for other medical conditions"

"Whereas, The denial of these otherwise covered benefits for patients suffering from GID represents discrimination based solely on a patient’s gender identity"

"Whereas, Delaying treatment for GID can cause and/or aggravate additional serious and expensive health problems, such as stress-related physical illnesses, depression, and substance abuse problems, which further endanger patients’ health and strain the health care system;"

"RESOLVED, That the AMA support public and private health insurance coverage for treatment of gender identity disorder (Directive to Take Action); and be it further

RESOLVED, That the AMA oppose categorical exclusions of coverage for treatment of gender identity disorder when prescribed by a physician (Directive to Take Action)".

Examples of Health Insurance Exclusions:

With these points in mind we find time and time again policies such as this of Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS).  Below, two major exclusions are listed [http://www.bcbsvt.com/member/MemberBenefits/benefit_Exclusions.html">Source]:

 

“7. Services or supplies we determine are not Medically Necessary.”

“58. Treatment leading to, or in connection with, transsexual Surgery."

Exclusion 7 allows denial of access to trans healthcare when if determined not medically necessary; for some trans people, services like hormone therapy and surgery are indeed medically necessary.  This type of blanket exclusion needs to be changed.

A personal story related to typical exclusions like Exclusion 58: “Once the company sees any claim for anything GID related your account is flagged and everything will be scrutinized and ultimately denied. It could be a regular counseling session because a person is just so depressed and has nothing to do with the condition, DENIED! It could be a normal preventative screening, DENIED!”

Lack of Trans Healthcare Leads to Loss of Life 

The petition’s author writes: “I am so sick of losing good friends and people I consider as close as family to depression, risky behaviors due to lack of money to cover care, and in many case them taking their life because they never see themselves being able to get the needed care that has been PROVEN to alleviate the symptoms of said condition.”

Call to Action

Take a step that will change the face of healthcare for transwomen and transmen everywhere.  Being trans is not a choice.  Denying trans people healthcare should no longer be a choice.

Add Your Voice

This is the reality of the situation and its time we take action. Anyone with more solid facts you would like to add or any of you that were denied by insurance please feel free to post segments of your denials and/or facts in your additional comments when signing this petition.

10,000 signatures will wake the CEOs up in the middle of the night.

If this is as important to you as it is for the petition’s author and so many others please take the time to sign and pass this along.

Thank you all!

 

Recent signatures

    News

    1. 3000!

      A. Rob
      by A. Rob
      Petition Organizer

      Not as many as we can get but you know what its ok. Had a bit of a bumpy ride starting Gateway Trans* Health but I am back now and in full effect!

    2. Reached 3,000 signatures
    3. Petition has been updated

      A. Rob
      by A. Rob
      Petition Organizer

      As stated in the last post I have updated the petition in a more formal format. Please take a moment to read over the updated version. Also I have added a few elected officials to the petition so they too will receive updates on the petition. The President is among the list of recipients, so by all means let us get there signatures in so that we can get what we need and end this senseless discrimination.

    4. 1751!

      A. Rob
      by A. Rob
      Petition Organizer

      I am 100% back now. This man has so many ventures in life but my main cause is never forgotten. Please notice the petition as of 1:30 pm on the second month of the 5th day in the two thousand and twelfth year; I will be updating the petition in a revised version as per my editor. I appreciate all the support please continue on; spread the word and the knowledge!

    5. 1618!

      A. Rob
      by A. Rob
      Petition Organizer

      Sorry about my brief leave of absence...but im back full force! I thank all of you for continuing to spread the word for this cause

    6. 1573!

      A. Rob
      by A. Rob
      Petition Organizer

      Sorry about my slight absence, im having some technical difficulties but im glad to see everyone is still spreading the world. I will be able to get on and check things from my phone. I have started on the t-shirt campaign pulling in designs and ideas. Thanks everyone!...and yes there will be shirts for those stealth to NOT out yourselves so everyone wins but the message still stays clear

    7. Reached 1,500 signatures
    8. Could it be? Is this the 1000th!

      A. Rob
      by A. Rob
      Petition Organizer

      Wow everyone I am just super proud! we have hit a pivotal marker in this campaign. For those willing and wanting to help out please contact me on here ASAP! Collecting proper contact information for every entity is a BIG thing I need researchers just as dedicated as I am. Thanks again everyone and continue to spread the word!

    9. Reached 1,000 signatures
    10. 896 lets get ready to roll!

      A. Rob
      by A. Rob
      Petition Organizer

      You all have started to really make this dream of equality no longer a dream but a fact. Showing your need and extending your voices. Continue to spread the word!...We are almost at the 1000 mark this is just remarkable!

    11. Change in petition name...Trans*

      A. Rob
      by A. Rob
      Petition Organizer

      After speaking with a few people I have changed the name from Transgender to Trans*. This is due to the fact that I do not want anyone to feel left out in this. The beginning is the same, you choose the ending! Thanks for the talk BT!

    12. I just love it, 750!

      A. Rob
      by A. Rob
      Petition Organizer

      I leave for academics and come home to find the number has risen 100+! This means more to all of us then these corporate heads even realize. One voice means nothing BUT united we stand we shall achieve. We all deserve to be happy, healthy, and successful and its about time people stop making a profit off of our pain. Also for those that know, as a future higher ranked medical professional, I will not sit back knowing where I came from and let my brother and sisters suffer any more. This will be the end of this turmoil and when they see just how much more healthy our quality of life is when we are healthy and happy within ourselves they will then see that this was stalled for way too long! Make them hear our voices!

      If you want to get involved on a state to state level please message me as I need to get teams together to help promote this cause. I am even thinking about a t-shirt campaign as well so you wont even have to speak you can be seen!

    13. Reached 750 signatures
    14. 631!!!!! You all rock!

      A. Rob
      by A. Rob
      Petition Organizer

      As we pick up more signatures I believe we are starting to get more attention. Keep up the excellent work and if any of you want to contact me about getting involved in this don't be afraid as I need a team of dedicated people will to fight just as much as I am!

    15. 631!!!!! You all rock!

      A. Rob
      by A. Rob
      Petition Organizer

      As we pick up more signatures I believe we are starting to get more attention. Keep up the excellent work and if any of you want to contact me about getting involved in this don't be afraid as I need a team of dedicated people will to fight just as much as I am!

    16. Reached 500 signatures
    17. Doubled the support in less then 6 hours! 453!

      A. Rob
      by A. Rob
      Petition Organizer

      You all are PHENOMENAL! I so appreciate all of you that are stepping up. We will get this taken care of I will not rest until this is made a fact. Please continue every effort of spreading the word. Doesn't matter who they are as long as they believe in the cause. I thank you all and keep up the excellent work, this is for the future of us ALL!

    18. 253!!!!

      A. Rob
      by A. Rob
      Petition Organizer

      Your support is motivational, continue to spread the word today I will be reaching out to major advocacy agencies to assist in this petition. This will be heard and taken care of were not crapping round and they need to know this! Thank you all!

    19. Reached 250 signatures
    20. 9 hours = 83 supporters!

      A. Rob
      by A. Rob
      Petition Organizer

      Imagine what the next 9 hours or even 9 days will be like as many will be waking up to this petition in their inboxes! I thank you all for taking the time and sharing your thoughts and showing support for the end of discrimination based on gender identity. Please continue to spread the world. The sooner we hit our goals the sooner we can reach out to the companies and DEMAND non-discriminatory treatment. Keep it up everyone, for one signature is another closer to VICTORY!

    21. Reached 50 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Kaitleigh Fetterman ANNANDALE, VA
      • 7 months ago

      I am transgender

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Andrew Budrius VANCOUVER, WA
      • 8 months ago

      I am FTM.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Tyler Lewis ALBUQUERQUE, NM
      • 8 months ago

      Im trans and need health care that I don't have to worry about a procedure being declined because of my gender identity

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Benjamin Burr CHANDLER, AZ
      • 8 months ago

      Everyone deserves healthcare regardless of their status and to deny such to anyone is to deny a basic human right.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Trystan Greist GREENFIELD, MA
      • 8 months ago

      I am trans, and I don't know how my health needs will ever be met, without insurance help. It's not fair.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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