Transforming healthcare

From The Dallas Voice:

LGBT advocates in Dallas, Fort Worth push for cities to provide comprehensive insurance coverage to transgender employees

18 Jan 2013

When Dallas police officer Debbie Grabowski transitioned six years ago, she paid for the $90,000 in surgical procedures out of her own pocket because the city’s health insurance didn’t cover gender reassignment surgery.

Officials say the city’s coverage includes everything except the surgery, including hormone replacement therapy, but Grabowski said the plan doesn’t currently cover her hormones — and never has.

“It hasn’t changed,” she said of the city’s healthcare coverage. “If it did change, I’m not aware of it.”

Grabowski also said her gender marker hasn’t been corrected in the city’s directory despite several attempts to get it changed from male to female. She’s also put off getting male wellness checkups because she doesn’t think they’d be covered.

If the city had covered her surgeries, Grabowski said it would’ve helped immensely.

The issue is even worse in Fort Worth because Cowtown’s insurance plan specifically excludes everything related to transgender care.

Transgender-inclusive healthcare is rare among cities nationwide, with only five out of 137 cities ranked in the new Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index listed as having the coverage — San Francisco, Minneapolis, New York, Portland and Seattle. But more and more cities and private companies have started offering the coverage since San Francisco became the first U.S. city to cover gender reassignment surgery for its employees in 2001.

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