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Regulator: Insurers cannot discriminate against transgenders

In a move in tandem with the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision making it illegal for employers to discriminate against gay and transgender workers, Wisconsin Insurance Commissioner Mark Afable declared that the same holds true when it comes to health care coverage in the state. Most people get their health insurance through their employers, so employers must understand this.

Afable on June 29 informed health insurance companies that is it illegal to discriminate against patients based on sex and gender identity. The message made by the Wisconsin’s Office of the Commissioner of Insurance essentially prevents health insurers from prohibiting or limiting health care coverage to transgender individuals for procedures normally covered. This would include breast enhancement for transgender women and mastectomies for transgender men.

High court ruling applied to Wisconsin’s health care, insurance sectors

On June 15, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that federal law protects LGBTQ employees. The high court said a provision from the Civil Rights Act of 1964 not only bans employment discrimination based on sex, but also prohibits discrimination against transgender individuals.

Afable applied the U.S. Supreme Court ruling to health insurance and health care sectors. To back up his directive, Afable and his office stated health insurance policies that include benefit limitations and exclusions based on an individual’s gender identity will not be approved.

In recent years, Wisconsin has seen its share of major lawsuits regarding health care coverage for transgender people. In one of the more notable cases, a federal judge ruled that is was unconstitutional and discriminatory for insurance companies to refuse gender-reassignment and related medical care to state workers.

If you have experienced workplace discrimination, Alan C. Olson and Associates has the knowledge, understanding and compassion to help.

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