Today, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) added a new page to HealthCare.gov to address issues facing transgender people accessing health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
The page provides consumers with guidance regarding successful application for marketplace coverage, as well as important information describing important new rights of transgender patients under the ACA. Under the ACA market place, health plans must provide preventative care, including routine shots and screenings. As this new page provides, the ACA also requires plans to make all sex-specific preventative services available that are medically appropriate. This means that under the ACA a plan can't limit a preventative service like a pap smear, mammogram, or prostate exam, based on an individual's sex assigned at birth, gender identity, or their recorded gender.
Patients can also access important information regarding plan exclusions. In addition to encouraging consumers to investigate a plan's coverage prior to enrolling, HHS also urges consumers to report incidents of discrimination by carriers to the Office of Civil Rights.
Educating and informing transgender consumers about their rights under the law is critical to fully implementing these protections, and moves us one step closer to ending discrimination in healthcare.