Center for American Progress

Health Insurers Shouldn’t Discriminate Against Transgender People

Health Insurers Shouldn’t Discriminate Against Transgender People

Health insurers should provide transgender people with the medical benefits they need and deserve.

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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and health plan benefit designs must be based on medical science and sound actuarial data rather than on outdated assumptions.

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