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Idea of the Day: Health Insurers Shouldn’t Discriminate Against Transgender People

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Transgender people face tough realities across the United States in routine areas of life that most people take for granted, including rights to employment, housing, and personal safety. Health care, particularly health insurance coverage, is another area where transgender people routinely experience serious and potentially life-threatening discrimination on the basis of gender identity.

  • Transgender people are more likely to be without health insurance than nontransgender people.
  • Transgender people of color are especially impacted by insurance discrimination—one in every three black transgender respondents in a nationwide survey of more than 6,400 transgender people reported being uninsured.
  • Nearly half of transgender survey respondents reported delaying seeking care when they were sick or injured because of inability to afford treatment.
  • Even if transgender people have health insurance coverage, most policies contain transgender-specific exclusions that deny them coverage routinely provided to nontransgender people.

To ensure that transgender people can access the care they need to stay healthy, insurers need to be held to appropriate standards of nondiscrimination, and health plan benefit designs must be based on medical science and sound actuarial data rather than on outdated assumptions.

For more on this topic, please see:

To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:

Print: Katie Peters (economy, education, poverty, Half in Ten Education Fund, women's issues)
202.741.6285 or kpeters@americanprogress.org

Print: Tom Caiazza (foreign policy, health care, LGBT issues, gun-violence prevention, the National Security Agency)
202.481.7141 or tcaiazza@americanprogress.org

Print: Chelsea Kiene (energy and environment, Legal Progress, higher education)
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Tanya Arditi
202.741.6258 or tarditi@americanprogress.org

TV: Rachel Rosen
202.483.2675 or rrosen@americanprogress.org

Radio: Chelsea Kiene
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org

 

This is part of a regular column: Idea of the Day

For more from the same column, click here