Limited Number of Federal Employee Health Benefit Providers To Cover Transition Related Care

by Stephen Peters

Inadequate coverage unjustly impacts transgender federal employees


WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, today responded to the fact that only three Federal Employee Health Benefit (FEHB) providers will begin offering transition related health care coverage in 2015 for transgender federal employees: AETNA, Kaiser Permanente, and the Foreign Service Benefit Plan. Kaiser Permanente’s plan will significantly limit the scope of coverage.

“Transgender federal employees deserve full and equal benefits, and these changes in coverage are simply inadequate,” said David Stacy, HRC’s Government Affairs Director. “We are deeply disappointed in not only the scope of coverage, but also the number of providers who will be providing transition related care. We urge all of the health benefit providers to begin offering vitally important, comprehensive coverage for the health care needs of our transgender civil servants.”

On June 13th, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) informed the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) plan carriers that it was removing its discriminatory ban on transition related care for transgender employees. News of some coverage by health benefit providers became available with the release of 2015 plan brochures, which are released a few days prior to open enrollment. Open enrollment for 2015 FEHB plans runs from November 10 through December 8, 2014.

“Furthermore, we urge the Office of Personnel Management to require all health plans to provide full coverage for transition related care,” added David Stacy.

HRC has long been working with transgender advocates to urge OPM to require federal employee health insurance carriers to provide comprehensive health care coverage to transgender workers. In addition, HRC has been a leader in working with insurance providers on access to transition related care as essential benefits under health plans.  

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. HRC envisions a world where LGBT people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.


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