Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2015-07-01
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


  WINDY CITY TIMES

Illinois takes step to end trans insurance bias
From a press release
2014-07-29

facebook twitter del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email


CHICAGO — Several Illinois-based advocacy groups joined together today to praise the Illinois Department of Insurance for taking a crucial first step in addressing discrimination against transgender Illinoisans in insurance coverage.

The groups — the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, Lambda Legal and the TransLife Center of Chicago House & Social Service Agency — have a long history of working for the rights of LGBT people and people living with HIV.

The groups also share a commitment to ending discrimination against transgender people and advancing parity in transgender people's access to health care.

The Bulletin issued to private insurers in the state notes that many insurance plans sold in Illinois may not discriminate against transgender people and must provide them coverage for the same medical treatment available for non-transgender policy holders. The Bulletin cites current Illinois law and the federal Affordable Care Act, both of which prohibit discrimination by insurers against transgender people because of their gender identity.

Transgender people often face discrimination when seeking insurance coverage of medically-necessary treatments prescribed by their physicians, even though such treatments are routinely covered for others. For example, hormone therapy and regular blood tests to guard against any negative medical consequences are routinely covered for many people, such as post-menopausal women, but are currently denied to many transgender people. Likewise, breast reconstruction surgery is routinely covered for women after surgery for breast cancer, but is routinely denied for transgender people, even if ordered by a physician.

There are many other medical procedures and treatments that are covered routinely each day — from surgery to mammograms to Pap smears — for non-transgender people that are often denied to transgender people, even though they are prescribed by a physician as medically-necessary treatment.

The Department of Insurance bulletin says such denials are discriminatory and not permitted under existing law. In recent months, insurance authorities in Oregon, California, Colorado, Vermont, Massachusetts, Washington and the District of Columbia all have made similar statements, making clear that health insurers in those states cannot discriminate on the basis of gender identity. The American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians and other national medical organizations all have called for an end to insurance discrimination based on gender identity.

"Denial of healthcare coverage for needed medical treatment is far too common, especially for transgender people," said Owen Daniel-McCarter, Legal Director for the TransLife Center at Chicago House. "Private insurance companies can no longer deny transgender individuals, often through explicit exclusions written into the policies, the medical and mental health care that is routinely provided to non-transgender policy holders. We applaud the state of Illinois for making clear that such denials are a violation of Illinois law."

The bulletin from the Department of Insurance cites three laws that prohibit discrimination against transgender people: the Affordable Care Act, the Illinois Human Rights Act and the Illinois Mental Health Parity Act. The bulletin explains that a plan may not be certified in Illinois ( a prerequisite to a plan being marketed and sold in the state ) if the plan discriminates against transgender people.

"This guidance helps ensure parity in healthcare coverage, making certain that services such as mental healthcare, cancer screenings and hormone therapy are routinely covered for transgender people when the insurer provides those services to non-transgender policy-holders," said John Peller, Interim President and CEO at the AIDS Foundation of Chicago. "Transgender exclusions have been present in many Illinois health care insurance plans and it's time for that discrimination to end."

"The lack of access to medically necessary care for transgender people can cause real harm," added John Knight, LGBT Project Director at the ACLU of Illinois. "The AMA, among other prominent medical groups, notes that the failure to provide medically-necessary treatment to transgender people often leads to tragic consequences — including a disproportionate frequency of depression and attempted suicide. The Department's bulletin makes access to these services easier by calling for an end to these discriminatory practices in insurance coverage."

"Up until today, insurance plans often denied coverage for services from the routine to the complex simply on the basis of the individual being transgender," according to Christopher Clark, Counsel for Lambda Legal. "There is simply no justification for these denials. The city and county of San Francisco, for example, have provided comprehensive coverage for transgender employees for many years and have seen no discernible increase in costs."

A limited number of private insurance plans currently remain outside of these non-discriminatory protections. The advocates today called on officials in Illinois to take necessary action to ensure that individuals in the state who are covered under these policies do not suffer harmful discrimination.

The organizations noted that it is up to state agencies like the Illinois Department of Insurance to make the promise of non-discrimination contained in law a reality. The group said that the bulletin issued today is a critical step in that direction.


facebook twitter del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

DOJ supports transgender student's right to appropriate restroom 2015-07-02
ICE has new guidance on care of transgender immigrants in custody 2015-06-29
Undocumented transgender woman interrupts President, calls for end to deportation 2015-06-24
Legislation to lift transgender military ban to be introduced 2015-06-23
Israel Pride Parade dedicated to transgender rights 2015-06-12
ACLU sues over discriminatory transgender school restroom policy 2015-06-12
AMA on transgender military service: No valid reason to block 2015-06-08
Air Force takes step towards open transgender service 2015-06-05
Girl Scouts include transgender girls 2015-05-22
Transgender woman reported missing following brain surgery 2015-05-14
Transgender employee takes action against Barnes & Noble 2015-05-07
National Finance Company sued for firing transgender employee 2015-04-16
Talk show on lives of transgender individuals casting April 18 2015-04-15
EEOC to ensure restroom access for transgender employees 2015-04-08
Film about transgender teacher in Hawaii on PBS May 4 2015-04-06
Camp Aranu'tiq: A place for transgender and gender-variant youth 2015-03-31
Report: Military families suffer From transgender ban 2015-03-31
Texas prison agrees to put Lambda transgender client in safekeeping 2015-03-30
Williams Institute to do first-of-its-kind study of transgender population 2015-03-25
Lake View voice lab helps trans clients find their voices 2015-03-25
Transgender community members demonstrate, demand recognition 2015-03-24
DePaul forum looks at 19th-century transgender labor 2015-03-18
Navy's top enlisted sailor supports open service by transgender troops 2015-03-13
Davis 'extremely proud' of time at Transgender Law Center 2015-03-11
Army takes steps to protect transgender troops 2015-03-06
Defense Secretary Ashton Carter comments on transgender service 2015-02-22
SPLC suit demands healthcare for transgender inmate in Georgia prison 2015-02-20
HUD tells homeless shelters to respect self-identified gender 2015-02-20
Rep. Honda speaks about transgender granddaughter 2015-02-18
Two reports detail wide discrimination against transgender Americans 2015-02-18
Army considers change in policy on transgender soldiers 2015-02-16
Masen Davis reflects on time at Transgender Law Center 2015-02-10
LGBTQ community outraged with ongoing transgender homicides 2015-01-29
Transgender woman of color killed in Texas 2015-01-27
Lamia Beard, transgender woman of color, killed in Norfolk 2015-01-22
Out at CHM opens series with transgender resilience 2015-01-22
ASK LAMBDA LEGAL Transgender people and jail 2015-01-14
Detroit LGBTQ community mourns passing of transgender man 2014-12-26
Michigan transgender man, missing since Dec. 10, found dead 2014-12-24
Guide provides vital information for transgender prisoners 2014-12-18
 



Copyright © 2015 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.