US guarantees health care for trans federal employees

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American trans government employees will now have their transition healthcare covered by insurance.

From January next year, insurance companies that provide plans for federal employees will no longer be able to exclude coverage for transition care, such as hormones and surgery.

Just a year ago, insurance companies were banned from providing for transition healthcare before that ban was overturned. Now they are required to.

The letter from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) said: “No carrier participating in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program may have a general exclusion of services, drugs or supplies related to gender transition or ‘sex transformations’.”

Mara Keisling, Executive Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality said: “With today’s announcement, transgender federal employees can now access health care that is so fundamental to their well-being and, in the long-term, will make transgender employees happier and more productive workers.

“We know that plans will still try to exclude some necessary services, and we will keep pushing to eliminate all insurance discrimination against trans people.”

Rachel See – a trans federal worker who was denied healthcare coverage – said: “I am thrilled to hear that OPM has finally taken this long-overdue step.

“My health care claim is as medically necessary as treatment for a broken arm or a heart condition, and federal health plans should treat all of these claims equally.

“For too long, transgender federal employees who sought to obtain medically necessary transition-related health care did not receive the government’s full support.

“I hope OPM will take action to help those who have already faced financial hardships because of discriminatory exclusions.”