GLAD, with co-counsel Attorney Kevin Barry, authored an amicus brief to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in a case involving a transgender federal employee who was denied coverage for a chest reconstruction procedure under a Federal Employee Health Benefits Plan. The FEHB plan, administered by Aetna, has a categorical exclusion for the procedure, despite it being a component of medically-necessary gender transition.

The brief was filed to provide information to the Commission regarding the medical need for gender transition-related health care and the harm that bans on coverage for such care wreaks on transgender people’s lives. As the brief states:

People with gender dysphoria continue to be subjected to pernicious discrimination in access to vital healthcare. Many insurance and employer-sponsored health benefit plans, including Federal Employee Health Benefits Programs, continue to deny coverage for medically necessary and recognized treatments, most notably facial feminization surgeries, chest reconstruction, breast augmentation, and other treatments that bring the body into congruence with a person’s affirmed gender to eliminate gender dysphoria. The categorical exclusion of these procedures as per se cosmetic, and therefore never medically necessary, is wholly out-of-step with authoritative medical standards of care and the significant and well-designed body of research establishing their efficacy in alleviating or eliminating gender dysphoria.

The brief was submitted with the National Center for Lesbian Rights, the National Center for Transgender Equality, and the National LGBTQ Task Force