Legal Voice, our partners in the Coalition for Inclusive Healthcare, and transgender Washingtonians won an important victory today when Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler made an announcement clarifying that health insurance policies sold in Washington State cannot discriminate against transgender people.
Though insurance discrimination based on gender identity has been banned in Washington since 2006, private health insurance policies routinely include clauses that specifically prevent transgender people from having the same medical and mental health care coverage that is allowed for other policy holders. Commissioner Kreidler clarified that these exclusions are illegal under Washington’s non-discrimination law and the federal Affordable Care Act. These clarifications mean that private insurance providers must cover the same services—including mental health care, cancer screenings and hormone therapy—for transgender people as for non-transgender individuals.
This announcement is an important step to help ensure that all Washingtonians have access to medically necessary health care without discrimination.