Vermont…where they say that the land ain’t straight, and neither are the people. Alright, that may not be entirely true, but the reality is that Vermont does have a pretty high population of LGBT individuals. Well, now there has been some good news for the trans population of the state. The Vermont Department of Financial Regulation, Division of Insurance has issued a bulletin noting some changes regarding transsexual Vermonters and their health insurance.
Vermont insurance companies can no longer discriminate against transsexuals by limiting benefits for medically necessary services. The definition of “medically necessary” is also pretty broad. According to the bulletin:
“Medical necessity remains the fundamental standard of care and legal requirement for treatment provided to transgender people. Insurers cannot exclude coverage for medically necessary health care services for transgender people, including transition-related surgeries and other care provided for gender dysphoria and related conditions. Plans offered through Vermont’s Health Benefits Exchange are covered by the bulletin.”
The Vermont Health Access Program or VHAP, which provides free healthcare to some individuals, and Catamount Health Insurance, which is a partnership between the state and Blue Cross/Blue Shield, both already covered the majority of the costs of transitioning. Both already cover hormone replacement and specialized therapy. The inclusion of sex reconstruction surgery is an important step for many transsexuals given the cost of the surgery.