Friday April 18, 2014
Historic News: Oregon Removes Barriers to Transition-Related CareSalem-News.com
News release from Basic Rights Oregon
(PORTLAND, OR) - The Insurance Division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS) just announced that insurance companies doing business in Oregon must end discriminatory exclusions of medically-necessary healthcare for transgender Oregonians.
We all know someone who has been denied medically necessary care by an insurance company working to protect its bottom line. It's unfair, painful, and downright dangerous when it happens. And for transgender people, these denials are often a fact of life.
Many transgender Oregonians are denied the ability to purchase health insurance or are denied coverage for basic, medically necessary care solely because they are transgender (watch a video of their stories here). These exclusions are wrong, discriminatory– and the Insurance Division has made it clear that this kind of discrimination has no place in Oregon.
The Insurance Division bulletin specifically states that:
After years of work on this issue, the Trans Justice team at Basic Rights Oregon is celebrating a tremendous victory for trans, genderqueer, and gender non-conforming Oregonians. Portland resident and Trans Justice Working Group member Ray Crider said,
"For me, this coverage is preventive health care. As a transgender man, part of my daily routine is binding my chest to create a masculine appearance. This created health problems for me by restricting my breathing and causing inflammation in the wall of my lungs. As a result, I ended up in the emergency room several times for shortness of breath and chest pain. Doctors told me the only solution was to stop binding, but the surgery I needed ended up being the same cost as my emergency room visits. Transgender exclusions in insurance policies are a lose-lose proposition, and I'm glad they're coming to an end."
Basic Rights Oregon and transgender community leaders will continue working together to increase access to medically necessary care for trans Oregonians. And we'll share more updates as this exciting bulletin is implemented.
In celebration and solidarity,
The Basic Rights Oregon Trans Justice team
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