At long last, some good news:
MILWAUKEE – The national ACLU, ACLU of Wisconsin, and volunteer attorneys from the law firm Hawks Quindel sued Wisconsin’s state university system and insurance board today over their refusal to provide gender-affirming health insurance coverage to state employees who are transgender.
The suit was filed on behalf of Alina Boyden, a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Shannon Andrews, a cancer researcher at the University of Wisconsin Medical School.
“The state continues to deny our clients coverage for medically necessary treatment simply because they are transgender, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment,” said John Knight, of the ACLU’s national Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and HIV Project. “All that transgender people like Alina and Shannon are asking for is to be treated like everyone else, and that includes respect and coverage for the health care you need.”
May they win, and win well, and set the bar high for all employers in WI.
This is HUGE. Via Gender Justice League and The Seattle Times:
In a letter Wednesday to health insurance companies, the state makes clear that it is illegal to discriminate against transgender policyholders under both state law and the federal Affordable Care Act.
Specifically, an insurance company cannot deny services for a transgender person solely on the basis of gender status. Additionally, the health insurer must pay for gender transition procedures if they are deemed medically necessary and if they’re covered for other policyholders for different reasons. Those procedures include hormone therapy, counseling services, gender-transition process, mastectomy, and breast augmentation and reconstruction.
And just like that, Gender Justice League has an FAQ up to answer all your questions, such as:
WHAT CAN I DO TO PROVE MEDICAL NECESSITY?
Medical necessity is determined on a case by case basis through guidelines established by your insurer. However, we believe that if you follow the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) standards of care version 7 you should be able to make an argument that your care is medically necessary. While there is no guarantee that your insurance will absolutely cover your care, following the WPATH standards of care is helpful in establishing the medical necessity of your care. Discuss with your doctor or therapist what course of medical care is best in your case. You can download the WPATH standards of care here: http://www.genderjusticeleague.org/socv7.pdf
If you’d like to help them celebrate, Seattle’s Trans Pride still needs funding, so do go donate.