Commercial Insurers should Provide Needed Treatment to Gender Dysphoria: NY’s Financial Regulators

On Thursday, New York’s financial regulators suggested health insurers to cover transgender treatment. The Department of Financial Services said commercial insurers should not deny the treatment for gender dysphoria when someone’s gender at birth does not match his or her identity.

Department Superintendent Ben Lawsky was of the view that the now, discrimination against transgender people would not be tolerated. The current edition of the American Psychiatric Association Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders has classified gender dysphoria as a mental disorder. Therefore, it should be covered.

Insurers have the right to assess coverage claims. New York regulators said that in the same way, consumers have the same appeal rights under the state law. “An issuer of a policy that includes coverage for mental health conditions may not exclude coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of gender dysphoria”, affirmed Lisette Johnson, head of the department’s Health Bureau.

In May, the federal government took the decision to end a Medicare exclusion of coverage for services with regard to gender transition. The Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund asked New York to put an end to exclusion its Medicaid program.

“Transgender Medicaid recipients are some of New York’s most vulnerable citizens. They must be able to access medically necessary care”, affirmed executive director Michael Silverman.

Leslie Moran, a spokeswoman for the New York Health Plan Association, affirmed that there are some larger plans that provide the coverage for the surgery when it is deemed medically necessary. Moran affirmed that now there are concerns that there will be a number of concerns, which will increase costs next year.

In fact, companies are quite concerned that there is a chance that people will seek other services for mental health reasons. Experts said that it is great to see that New York is taking step forward in the fight for equal rights for transgender individuals.

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