American Foreign Service Protective Association

A Little Bit of Good News

Transgender pride

“We’re pushing for equality for all, not just the G’s and L’s.”

Selim Ariturk, GLIFAA

The news isn’t always bad. Joe Davidson brings the good news via The Washington Post:

The State Department, which has been on the leading edge of policies affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender federal employees, is eliminating the “transgender exclusion” from the agency’s largest health insurance program.Seal of the U.S. Department of State

Insurance policies under the Federal Employees Health Benefits program generally exclude services “related to sex reassignment.”

In practice, this transgender exclusion “denies coverage to transgender people for the same treatments available to non-transgender policy holders, without regard to medical necessity,” the State Department said in a statement. “Insurance companies often view this exclusion in the broadest possible terms, excluding care that clearly has no relationship to gender status such as cancer treatment and routine preventive care.”

But starting in January, the exclusions will no longer be part of the department’s largest health insurance plan, the one provided by the American Foreign Service Protective Association.

And then we might also offer a note for those who think this is somehow terrible news: Really? Does being transgender mean you shouldn’t have insurance coverage for vaccinations, or, say, broken bones as the result of a workplace accident? And if your answer is somehow affirmative, the next question is: What is wrong with you?

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Davidson, Joe. “State Department ends transgender exclusion from health plan”. The Washington Post. 13 October 2014.