TLDEF Applauds Obama Administration for Efforts to Ban Transgender Health Care Discrimination Across U.S.

September 3, 2015 - TLDEF applauds the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) proposed regulation to prohibit health care discrimination against transgender Americans. If adopted, the Nondiscrimination in Health Programs and Activities rule would prohibit discrimination against transgender people in all health care facilities that receive HHS funds and ban the widespread insurance industry practice of excluding coverage for transgender health care in all plans sold by insurance companies that participate in health insurance exchanges. It would also require all state Medicaid plans to cover transgender health care. The rule is designed to implement the Affordable Care Act’s non-discrimination provision, Section 1557.

Statement from TLDEF Executive Director Michael Silverman

“We applaud this sweeping regulation which will improve the lives of transgender people in the United States. The proposed rule is a monumental step towards ensuring that transgender Americans are treated fairly in the health care system. It is vital for transgender people to have access to medically necessary care, to be covered by insurance for that care, and to be treated with dignity and respect in medical settings.

“Transgender people continue to face tremendous barriers to accessing care which causes great harm to their health and well being. The purpose of the Affordable Care Act was to ensure that all Americans had access to safe, affordable care. Under these new rules, transgender people will finally be able to reap the benefits of our nation’s health care law.

“Health care related to gender transition is widely recognized as medically necessary by organizations such as the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association and the World Professional Association for Transgender Health. We are thrilled to see the federal government striving to adhere to this guidance. We look forward to seeing this regulation adopted to ensure health care equality for transgender Americans.”

The Department of Health and Human Services will hear comments on the proposed rule until November 7, 2015 prior to taking final action on the proposal.