Connecticut CHRO Strikes Down All Exclusions for Transgender Healthcare
April 23, 2020
Today the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities issued a landmark ruling prohibiting all employers and insurers from denying coverage for transgender people’s health care needs relating to gender transition. This ruling follows a national trend of striking down discriminatory exclusions for gender affirming medical care.
The ruling states:
Insurance policies that categorically refuse to consider certain procedures for certain people on the basis of their race, sex, or sexual orientation are facially discriminatory. So too are such exclusions for transgender people on the basis of gender identity, a condition unique to them. Consequently, when the State or a municipality contracts for health insurance plans that contain categorical exclusions for treatments related to gender dysphoria – and especially when the same treatments are covered for treatment of other conditions – it commits a discriminatory practice, as does the insurer.
“We applaud the Commission for recognizing the critical healthcare needs of transgender people and calling out the discrimination inherent in health plans that deny care,” said Ben Klein, Senior Attorney at GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders. “Exclusions that categorize doctor-prescribed procedures as “elective” or “cosmetic” contradict a robust body of scientific evidence and can only be explained by stereotypes and bias towards transgender people. This ruling will ensure that critical healthcare decisions can be made as they should be, between patients and their doctors, and will allow Connecticut residents access to life-saving care.”
GLAD filed a brief in conjunction with Professor Kevin Barry of Quinnipiac University School of Law on behalf of Connecticut resident Rylie Robillard, the Connecticut Women’s Education & Legal Fund, and the National Center for Transgender Equality. The brief was supported by expert testimony from Randi Ettner, PH.D, one of the nation’s preeminent experts on gender affirming medical care.