A bill introduced in the Minnesota House on Monday would allow health insurance companies to deny coverage to transgender Minnesotans seeking transition-related health care.

HF1183 states in part:

A health plan is not required to provide coverage for health services related to gender transition, including but not limited to sex reassignment surgery.

Under the Affordable Care Act, most insurers could not deny claims or drop people because due to seeking or accessing transition-related health care, according to the National Center for Transgender Equality. The ACA made nondiscrimination a requirement for those insurance companies that receive federal funds or sell their plans on the federal or state marketplaces.

The authors of HF1183 appear to recognize that legalizing anti-transgender discrimination in health plans could put those plans in jeopardy under the ACA, so it carves out a niche:

(b) This subdivision applies to health plans not governed by the requirements of Code
of Federal Regulations, title 45, part 92. This paragraph expires upon the receipt of any
federal waivers or upon any changes to federal law that are necessary to allow all health
plan companies to implement paragraph (a). The commissioner of commerce shall notify
the revisor of statutes when this paragraph expires.

In other words, the bill would only apply to all Minnesota health plans once Congressional Republicans complete their plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

The eight authors of the bill are all Republicans, many with a history of anti-transgender activism. They include Reps. Glenn Gruenhagen of Glencoe, Kathy Lohmer of Stillwater, Eric Lucero of Dayton, Bud Nornes of Fergus Falls, Josh Heintzeman of Nisswa, Steve Green of Fosston, Matt Grossell of Clearbrook, and Cindy Pugh of Chanhassen.

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Andy Birkey
Andy Birkey has written for a number of Minnesota and national publications. He founded Eleventh Avenue South which ran from 2002-2011, wrote for the Minnesota Independent from 2006-2011, the American Independent from 2010-2013. His writing has appeared in The Advocate, The Star Tribune, The Huffington Post, Salon, Cagle News Service, Twin Cities Daily Planet, TheUptake, Vita.mn and much more. His writing on LGBT issues, the religious right and social justice has won awards including Best Beat Reporting by the Online News Association, Best Series by the Minnesota chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and an honorable mention by the Sex-Positive Journalism awards.

4 COMMENTS

  1. so they want to require people to pay for insurance…

    …but allow this company who people are required to give money, to give nothing in return???

  2. For families raising a transgender child, this bill would be devastating. My son’s daughter is seven years old and will need puberty delaying drugs in four years or less and then a sex reassignment operation. It is no one’s fault that she has boy parts. She should be able to get the medical care she needs, like any other child with a birth defect, disease, or any other medical problem.

  3. Considering the the targeted victims of this bill are such a small minority, the impact of cost would be unnoticeable compared to the many other items covered. This is simply targeted discrimination.

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