Ill. insurance department issues bulletin on transgender coverage

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Illinois-based advocacy groups praised the Illinois Department of Insurance for issuing a bulletin to private insurers in the state reminding them that law prohibits discrimination against transgender policy holders.

The bulleting cites current Illinois law and the Affordable Care Act, which both prohibit discriminated by insurers against transgender people because of their gender identity.

Transgender people often face hurdles and discrimination when seeking insurance coverage of medically-necessary treatments prescribed by physicians, even though those treatments are routinely covered for others. Advocacy groups like the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, Lambda Legal and the TransLife Center at Chicago House point out that many transgender patients face hurdles getting coverage for hormone therapy and the blood testing required to monitor the effects of the hormones, a procedure that is routinely available to covered for post-menopausal women. The Illinois Department of Insurance bulleting says that such denials are discriminatory and not permitted under current law.

"Denial of healthcare coverage for needed medical treatment is far too common, especially for transgender people," said Owen Daniel-McCarter, legal director for TransLife Center at Chicago House. "We applaud the state of Illinois for making clear that such denials are a violation of Illinois law."
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