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and health plan benefit designs must be based on medical science and sound actuarial data rather than on outdated assumptions.

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

Print: Liz Bartolomeo (poverty, health care)
202.481.8151 or

Print: Tom Caiazza (foreign policy, energy and environment, LGBT issues, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7141 or

Print: Allison Preiss (economy, education)
202.478.6331 or

Print: Tanya Arditi (immigration, Progress 2050, race issues, demographics, criminal justice, Legal Progress)
202.741.6258 or

Print: Chelsea Kiene (women's issues,, faith)
202.478.5328 or

Print: Beatriz Lopez (Center for American Progress Action Fund)
202.741.6255 or

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Rafael Medina
202.478.5313 or

TV: Rachel Rosen
202.483.2675 or

Radio: Sally Tucker
202.481.8103 or


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

For more from the same column, click here