"Colorado Extends Insurance Nondiscrimination Protections To LGBT Community"
Last week, the Colorado Division of Insurance became the second state agency in the week to issue a bulletin stating that discrimination in health coverage on the basis of sexual orientation and transgender status is impermissible under state law. The bulletin is the latest in a series of decisions by states and employers clearly stating that no person should be denied health care or coverage based on who they are.
The bulletin clarifies that existing law in Colorado prohibits discriminatory practices by insurers, including:
- Denying coverage to a transgender person for medically necessary care that would be covered under current standards for any other individual
- Charging more for health insurance based on a person’s sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.
One Colorado and the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative have been working closely with the Colorado Division of Insurance to seek legal clarification in response to input from Colorado’s transgender community. And the result reflects the growing movement toward equitable health insurance policies at the state and federal level.
Ending discriminatory policies that deny transgender people access to medically necessary care reflects basic values of fairness, and it also aligns with the consensus among major medical associations that transition-related health care is medically necessary for many transgender individuals and that determination of what care an individual patient needs properly rests with medical providers, not insurance companies.