Transgender Man Successfully Challenges Health Insurer Over Denial Of Treatment Coverage
A transgender Seattle man has won his battle against an insurance company over his medical treatment. Anthony Bopp, who works in the produce section at a local QFC grocery store, has health coverage through Sound Health and Wellness Trust, but the insurer has been refusing to pay for routine treatment Bopp needs.
Bopp needs treatment, such as blood tests, related to his gender dysphoria, which is the medical term for someone whose gender identity doesn’t correspond with their assigned sex at birth.
Bopp says, at first, it didn’t seem like too big a burden.
“Basically, I would just pay for certain medications out of pocket or whatever. But when they started denying routine tests and stuff like that it really kind of drove home, you know, that I have no idea what I’m going to have to pay for out-of-pocket,” Bopp said.
He says it made him angry because it seemed blatantly discriminatory. As KPLU's Gabriel Spitzer reported in June 2014, Washington's Insurance Commissioner mandates that insurers cover treatment for transgender people if those treatments, such as blood tests, are provided for non-transgender people.
With the help of the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington, Bopp challenged the insurer, based on Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler’s mandate.
Sound Health and Wellness Trust backed down and will now cover Bopp’s treatment. Bopp takes testosterone prescribed by his doctor and receives regular blood tests to measure his testosterone, hematocrit and liver enzyme levels to ensure the levels are safe.
Insurers in Washington are still not required to cover sex reassignment surgery.