BCBS of Illinois must face lawsuit alleging discrimination in gender surgery coverage

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A federal judge denied Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois' motion to dismiss allegations that the health insurer improperly denied gender reassignment surgery to a transgender teen.

In 2019, BCBS of Illinois denied coverage for a mastectomy, chest reconstruction surgery and other medical services for a transgender teen with gender dysphoria. The teen's parents sued BCBS of Illinois over the coverage denials.

BCBS of Illinois had argued the lawsuit didn't properly state claims of sex discrimination under the ACA and moved to dismiss the allegations. In an order filed May 4 in the U.S. District Court for Western Washington, Judge Robert Bryan disagreed, ruling the lawsuit properly states a claim for sex discrimination under the ACA.

Becker's reached out to BCBS of Illinois for comment. The insurer said it doesn't comment on pending litigation.

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