Governor Cuomo takes action to ensure gender queer and trans insurance coverage

Apicha Community Health Center Aug 18, 2017  
 
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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced health insurers cannot discriminate or deny coverage based on gender identity. This action will ensure that transgender or gender nonconforming individuals receive coverage regardless of whether they present as the gender to whom the service is typically or exclusively provided.
 
A Department of Financial Services (DFS) circular letter issued Wednesday, August 16, 2017, instructs health insurers to take reasonable steps, including requesting additional information, to determine whether the insured is eligible for the services prior to denying a claim. This announcement builds upon Governor Cuomo's comprehensive actions to support health insurance access for all New Yorkers, including previous guidance instructing insurers that they may not deny medically necessary treatment for gender dysphoria.

"In New York, we believe that health care is a right, and we are committed to protecting that right for all New Yorkers, regardless of income, age, race, sexuality or gender identity," Governor Cuomo said. "Now, more than ever, we are leading the nation in furthering protections to all New Yorkers that those in Washington seek to eliminate, and we will continue to work to combat discrimination in all forms and ensure equal treatment for all."

Financial Services Superintendent Maria T. Vullo said,"Transgender persons should not be discriminated against and denied health insurance coverage because of their transgender status nor denied treatment simply due to insurance coding issues. DFS will ensure that all New Yorkers, regardless of gender identity, receive the health insurance coverage they need."

The circular letter follows reports received by DFS that some health insurance companies may be denying claims of transgender individuals because the gender with which the individual identifies does not match the gender of someone to whom those services are typically provided. For example, a person who was assigned female at birth but presents as male may be denied a claim for cervical cytology screening because the health insurer's information indicates that the insured is male.

Similarly, a person who was assigned male at birth but presents as female may be denied a claim for prostate cancer screening because the health insurer's information indicates that the insured is anatomically a female. The DFS guidance reminds health insurers that, although a health insurer may request additional information regarding a specific medical service, a health insurer cannot deny a claim because it does not have sufficient information to pay the claim.

A health insurer who receives a claim from an insured of one gender or sex for a service that is typically or exclusively provided to an individual of another gender or sex should take reasonable steps, including requesting additional information, to determine whether the insured is eligible for the services prior to denying the claim.

 
Request An Appointment For Trans Healthcare
 
 

If You’re Trans*, Live in New York City, and Don’t Have a Medical Provider, Consider Coming to Apicha CHC!

Check our calendar for the next Trans* Orientation Sessions for trans* folk to come in and learn about Apicha CHC’s Trans* Health Clinic.

This clinic is for the specific needs of transgender and gender non-conforming, gender variant and genderqueer individuals.

Our Trans*Health services include:

  • Personalized Primary Medical Care
  • Routine Check-Up and Immunization
  • Initiation and Maintenance of Hormone Therapy
  • Short-Term Mental Health Services
  • Care Management

Please feel free to request an appointment or stop by a Trans* Orientation Session to learn more about trans* health, Apicha CHC’s Trans* Health Clinic, and trans* insurance coverage.


Ready to take action about your health?
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