Recent attention given to meeting the healthcare needs of transgender individuals may end up intensifying, at least judging from the case made in findings of a survey commissioned by Connecticut-based employee benefits consultant True Benefit.
The survey of more than 350 individuals identifying as transgender found that when denied insurance coverage for transition-related healthcare, 37% of these individuals reported turning to alcohol or drugs, 36% reported developing physical symptoms, 35% said they needed psychotherapy, and 15% attempted suicide.
Such numbers inspired this reaction from True Benefit president John Hodson: “Insurers and policy-makers have had an antiquated list of exclusions written that have not evolved over several decades. Indeed, the thought was that denying care for transgender medical care saved money for policy holders. This report shows that's not true.”
According to a Sept. 8 news release about the survey, Hodson became interested in this issue when his daughter was denied insurance coverage just weeks before scheduled gender-reassignment surgery. She would eventually gain coverage as a result of a state-adopted insurance mandate in Connecticut that took effect in 2014.
The organization TrueChild (not affiliated with True Benefit), which urges practitioners and policy-makers to challenge traditionally rigid gender norms, conducted the survey. The average age of respondents was 35, with 85% of the individuals saying they were living full-time in a gender different from their birth sex.