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Navigating Transgender Health Coverage in Colorado

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Thursday, November 10, 2016   

DENVER -- A Trump presidency puts the future of the Affordable Care Act into question, but from now through the end of January, Coloradans still can shop for health insurance at Connect for Health Colorado.

Local group One Colorado has published a buyer's guide for transgender people with information on insurance companies that provide complete coverage. Daniel Ramos, executive director with the group, said finding the right plan can be complicated.

"Cigna and United Healthcare, those are the two insurance companies that have not removed their transgender exclusions,” Ramos said. "As we look at what they offer to transgender people, our interpretation is that they are in violation of Bulletin 4.49."

He's referring to the Colorado Division of Insurance's 2013 rules, which prohibit discrimination - by denying medical services provided to others - based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Insurance providers that have removed transgender exclusions include Anthem, Bright Health, Denver Health's Elevate, Humana, Kaiser and Rocky Mountain Health.

Donald Trump has said one of his top priorities as president will be repealing the Affordable Care Act, which could cause some 22 million people to lose coverage.

According to Ramos, the denial of health coverage remains one of the most frequent examples of discrimination against LGBTQ people, and the Affordable Care Act put a number of protections in place.

"Insurance companies cannot deny people on the basis of what were considered pre-existing conditions,” Ramos said; "things like their sexual orientation, their gender identity or any health conditions including HIV status."

Ramos said if people believe they have been denied access to medical services unfairly, they can appeal to the provider, the state's Division of Insurance or Civil Rights Division. For help, send an email to health@one-colorado.org.



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