Each year, thousands of those diagnosed with Gender Identity Disorder (GID) are denied coverage by their healthcare insurance provider for mental health services, medical services by their health care professional, prescription services or any services related to their current GID diagnosis. Four days ago, I became one of those people. Instead of allowing fear to take hold of my circumstances, I have decided to fight the companies, search for the facts and enlist all those that believe a patient with a documented disorder should not be excluded from any health insurance policy or denied medical coverage.
The American Medical Association (AMA) states that " there is no basis for the denial to any human being of equal rights, privileges, and responsibilities commensurate with his or her individual capabilities and ethical character because of an individual's sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or transgender status, race, religion, disability, ethnic origin, national origin, or age."(BOT Rep. LL, I-86; Amended by Sunset Report, I-96; Modified: Res. 410, A-03)
The current revision of World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) recommends that mental health professionals document a patient's relevant history in a letter, which should be required by medical professionals prior to physical intervention. One letter is required for hormone replacement therapy or either augmentation mammoplasty or male chest reconstruction. Two additional letters are needed for genital surgeries. ("The Mental Health Professional." The World Professional Association for Transgender Health's Standards Of Care For Gender Identity Disorders. 6th ed. 2001.)
Currently, UPMC Health Plan and GM Southwest Insurance Company have decided they are more qualified to deny a transgender or transsexual patient care despite the medical diagnosis from a licensed therapist and a medical professional. At the hands of UPMC Health Plan and GM Southwest Insurance Company, those individuals with Gender Identity Disorder are now suffering from discriminatory practices, exclusion and bigotry. UPMC Health Plan and GM Southwest Insurance Company have given a message through their discriminatory policy's that those suffering from GID are not worthy of receiving adequate health care and that although the world expects transgender and transsexual patients to follow WPATH standards of care, UMPC Health Plan and GM Southwest Insurance Company do not abide by those standards.
Michael David Battle
As a lecturer, writer and advocate, Michael David Battle’s vision is to ignite others and move them to action through courageous conversations, exploring vulnerabilities, and collectively manifesting spaces of healing and restoration.