California Clarifies: Insurance Companies Can't Deny Transgender Mastectomy Coverage Based on Age

(Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)

 

You’ve heard it many times before, and perhaps you’ve had your own disappointing dealings: Health insurance doesn’t cover everything.

But on the West Coast, where inclusion’s concerned, the doors of entry are widening.

The California Department of Insurance has announced a prohibition against companies employing “strict age limits for gender transition surgery.”

On December 10th, California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara issued a notice “to inform health insurers of the recent enactment of Senate Bill 855…which substantially expanded the California Mental Health Parity Act of 1999, and the requirements under this new law that will take effect on January 1, 2021.”

The Commissioner stated that, “For coverage determinations involving services for gender dysphoria, the Department considers use of the most recent version of the Standards of Care for the Health of Transsexual, Transgender, and Gender Nonconforming People developed by The World Professional Association for Transgender Health compliant with SB 855.”

On December 30th, in response to a letter from San Diego’s TransFamily Support Services asking if insurers could deny mastectomies to females desiring to become male, Ricardo clarified the law.

The letter referred to the operation as “male chest reconstruction surgery.”

Here’s Ricardo’s response:

“An insurer may not deny coverage for male chest reconstruction surgery for female-to-male patients undergoing treatment for gender dysphoria based solely on a patient’s inability o meet a minimum age threshold because insurers must consider a patient’s specific clinical situation to determine actual medical necessity based on evidence-based standards of care.”

So while coverage can still be denied, it can’t be done on the basis of age.

As noted by The Daily Caller, this will potentially make it easier for those under 18 to have their breasts removed.

In a press release, Ricardo slammed society and old attitudes in an embrace of young people identifying as the opposite of their sex:

“For far too long, individuals diagnosed with gender dysphoria have had to battle a host of challenges to get access to gender-affirming care in order to be their true selves. Social stigma, misconceptions about gender dysphoria and its treatment, and outdated medical criteria create barriers to necessary medical care that can lead to tragic results for individuals with gender dysphoria, especially for our transgender youth.”

Of course, California’s been insuring transgenderism in various ways for a while.

From the Caller:

Protections regarding transgender individuals and health insurance have been in place in California for years. In 2012, for example, the Department of Insurance implemented various regulations that forbid insurers “from denying, canceling, and limiting or refusing insurance coverage based on gender identity, expression or transgender status.”

At that time, California also announced that insurance policies couldn’t “arbitrarily” exclude coverage for various services and procedures surrounding transgender individuals. California also has the Insurance Non-Discrimination Act of 2006, which ensures all individuals the right to “medically necessary” health care regardless of how they identify, the Transgender Law Center noted in a press release from 2013.

Perhaps the Golden State’s assistance will allow some transgender individual to follow their heart and beat a path right into politics.

Unfortunately for those engaged in the effort, if they hit the heights of Congress, just as they’re ready to let their gender-identity flag fly, they may find Democrats have removed the pole:

Maybe if they climb on up to the UN?

Perhaps not:

Designation is going the way of the dodo bird.

Stay tuned, ladies humans and gentlemen humans.

-ALEX

 

See more pieces from me:

Are You Ready for Your Vaccine Passport? You May Soon Need It to Go…Anywhere Worth Going

2020 in a Nutshell: New York Sees a Series of Assaults by Vicious Squirrels

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