HHS finalizes antibias protections to transgender people: 10 things to know

Health insurers cannot deny transgender Americans coverage and services based on gender identity under the Affordable Care Act, federal officials said Friday, The Washington Post reports.

Here are 10 things to know about the new health insurance rule.

1. The rule, finalized Friday by HHS, applies to the anti-discrimination provisions of the ACA.

2. The rule could affect hundreds of thousands of Americans who have been denied coverage or treatment because of their gender identity or sexual orientation, according to the report.

3. Under the rule, insurers aren't required to automatically approve all gender transitioning services. However, they cannot categorically deny coverage as they have previously, The Washington Post reports. These affected services can range from vaginal reconstruction to treatment for ovarian cancer even when an individual identifies as a man.

4. The rule compels insurers to use the same standards with every plan they administer, including those in the private sector, according to the report.

5. Additionally, it prohibits discrimination based on sex stereotyping, which Lambda Legal senior counsel Jennifer C. Pizer told The Washington Post effectively extends the rule's application to gay, lesbian and bisexual Americans.

6. HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell said the new rule represented "a key step toward realizing equity within our healthcare system and reaffirms this administration's commitment to giving every American access to the healthcare they deserve," according to the report.

7. Conservative critics have argued that the rule is government overreach.

8. The new rule applies to coverage starting Jan. 1, 2017.

9. Clare Kushing, a spokeswoman for America's Health Insurance Plans, noted that companies have already proposed the benefits and premiums they would offer on the federal health exchange next year, and the rule is "introducing some complexities that could impact the cost of coverage," according to the report.

10. The rule came hours after federal officials directed public schools nationwide to allow transgender students to use the bathroom of their choice.

Copyright © 2023 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars