Bill to Prohibit Health Insurance Discrimination Against Trans Persons Introduced

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Yesterday at the General Assembly in Richmond, Virginia Del. Debra Rodman (D-Henrico County) introduced a bill similar to laws in MD, DE and D.C. that would prohibit health insurance companies from discriminating against transgender persons.

House Bill 1466 if approved and signed into law, mandates the following:

“Prohibits a health carrier from denying or limiting coverage or imposing additional cost sharing or other limitations or restrictions on coverage under a health benefit plan for health care services that are ordinarily or exclusively available to covered individuals of one sex to a transgender individual based on the fact that the individual’s sex assigned at birth, gender identity, or gender otherwise recorded is different from the one to which such health services are ordinarily or exclusively available. The measure also prohibits a health carrier from (i) subjecting an individual to discrimination under a health benefit plan on the basis of gender identity or being a transgender individual or (ii) requiring that an individual, as a condition of enrollment or continued enrollment under a health benefit plan, pay a premium that is greater than the premium for a similarly situated covered person enrolled in the plan on the basis of the covered person’s gender identity or being a transgender individual. The measure requires health carriers to assess medical necessity according to nondiscriminatory criteria that are consistent with current medical standards.”

“I put forward HB 1466 because I care about the transgender community and know they deserve access to the same medical care I have,” Del. Rodman put forth in a prepared statement released by Equality Virginia and Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia.

James Parrish, Executive Director of Equality Virginia added that HB 1466 “protects transgender people from being unfairly denied health insurance coverage or from being unfairly excluded from coverage for certain health care procedures on the basis of gender identity.”

State Del. Danica Roem (D-Manassas) is HB 1466’s chief co-sponsor and the first openly trans person serving in a state legislature.

“It means so much to me personally as someone who’s been discriminated against in dealing with health insurance,” said Roem via Twitter.