Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler made an announcement clarifying that health insurance policies sold in Washington cannot discriminate against transgender Washingtonians. Commissioner Kreidler is “asking all health insurers doing business in Washington state to end discrimination in health insurance based on gender identity and related medical conditions. In a letter sent to health insurers this morning, Kreidler reminded health insurers that exclusions and denials of coverage on the basis of gender identity are against the Washington Law Against Discrimination (RCW 49.60) and the federal Affordable Care Act (Section 1557).”

Transgender Law Center congratulates all of the tireless advocates who helped make this progress happen. This news brings the number of states ending transgender exclusions in health care plans to 9: CA, CO, CT, DC, MA, MD, OR, VT, and WA.

 Support for Transgender Inclusive Healthcare via the Transgender Justice League:

“I know from personal experience how much these exclusions can hurt transgender people and their families. Having been denied hormones and doctors’ visits sent a clear signal that I was not equal. This letter sends a strong message that all Washingtonians should be treated fairly by their insurance companies.”

– Gwen Yeh, a transgender woman

“This care is life saving and medically necessary. After 30 years of practice, refusing transgender people medical care because of who they are goes against everything I believe in as a physician.”

– Dr. Roberta Dalley, MD, GLMA Board Member, University of Washington Physician

“In 2006 the Washington State legislature banned discrimination in insurance based on a person’s gender identity. It’s time to make that promise a lived reality for all transgender people in Washington.”

–  Laurie Jinkins, Washington State Representative, 27th District

“The costs associated with removing transgender exclusions in healthcare coverage are negligible—making this a win-win proposition. We’re able to cover the full range of healthcare services for all Washingtonians, with no discernable cost.”

–  Louise Chernin, Greater Seattle Business Association

“It was important for us at the City of Seattle to model the values we share as a community—respect, dignity, and fairness. In 2012we matched our actions to our values by providing health insurance that covers transgender individuals.”

– Sally J. Clark, Councilmember and Chair of the Committee on Housing Affordability, Human Services, and Economic Resiliency, Seattle City Council

“As a young transgender woman I know first-hand how important it is to have coverage for all of my healthcare needs. Transgender inclusive healthcare coverage means that I’m able to get the medically necessary care I need and don’t need to have the added stress of having coverage denied for routine blood work, or mental healthcare.”

– Erin Smith, staff member at Associated Ministries in Tacoma


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