WASHINGTON — The mayor of Washington, D.C. has ordered insurance companies in the district to offer coverage to residents who seek sex change treatments.
“This action places the district at the forefront of advancing the rights of transgender individuals,” Mayor Vincent Gray said during a press conference on Thursday. “It also fully implements the district’s Human Rights Act by incorporating gender identity and expression as protected classes in the district’s health insurance laws.”
He explained that the move has been in the works for some time.
‘Last March, the district began the process of removing exclusions in health insurance on the basis of gender identity or expression,” Gray outlined. ”Through the hard work of my Office of GLBT Affairs and a multi-agency working group headed by my Chief of Staff, Chris Murphy, we have today taken the necessary steps to completely eliminate these exclusions.”
”Today, the district takes a major step towards leveling the playing field for individuals diagnosed with gender dysphoria. These residents should not have to pay exorbitant out-of-pocket expenses for medically necessary treatment when those without gender dysphoria do not,” he continued. “Today’s actions take us closer to being one city that values and protects the health of all our residents.”
The D.C. Department of Insurance, Securities, and Banking (DISB) also issued a bulletin to insurance companies in the state, prohibiting discrimination against those who identify as the opposite gender, and recognizing gender dysphoria as a bonafide medical condition.
“[T]reatment for gender dysphoria, including gender reassignment surgeries, is a covered benefit, and individuals diagnosed with gender dysphoria are entitled to receive medically necessary benefits and services under individual and group health insurance policies covering medical and hospital expenses,” the bulletin outlined.
The coverage will apply to all district residents enrolled in group or individual insurance plans, including those receiving Medicaid benefits.
Currently, Colorado, California, Connecticut, Oregon and Vermont all mandate insurance companies to offer sex change coverage. Gray’s announcement comes just months after the Connecticut Insurance Department directed all insurance companies in the state to provide coverage for sex change operations, treatments and counseling.
A number of colleges and universities have likewise decided to offer coverage to staff and students. As previously reported, Brown University in historic Providence, Rhode Island announced last year that it would adjust its student health insurance plan to cover “sexual reassignment surgeries” and 14 types of treatments for students desiring to switch genders.
“God help us. I guess this is what moral collapse looks like,” commented one concerned reader, who remained anonymous. “Then good riddance to your ‘morality,’” replied another identified as KN.
Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut also extended the coverage to students last April—but with opposition.
“[T]he reason why Yale shouldn’t pay for this is the same reason why I am not covered by Yale for all the plastic and cosmetic surgery I want,” commented one student who named Eli. “It is not medically necessary.”
Photo: Tim Evanson