The availability of health insurance for transgender individuals was brought forward to the Finance and Expenditure Committee in June 2019 in the form of a petition. Elizabeth Poucher, the driver of the petition, stated that transgender women are unable to get the same level of cover as cisgender women.
“Elizabeth Poucher brought a petition asking for the House to conduct an inquiry into the availability of health insurance for transgender people's care related to transitioning.
She said that transgender people were often unable to get cover for things such as breast cancer, which were affected by hormone treatment, although a male-to-female transgender person was no more at risk than a cisgender woman. Poucher said that while people could sometimes get cover for other pre-existing conditions if they were willing to pay a premium loading, that was not the case for transgender people.”
In response, Roger Styles, Health Funds Association CEO has said that insurers look to offer affordable products and that transgender care was often excluded due to high costs associated with transitioning. For this reason, Styles says that exclusions are not discrimination against the transgender community.
“Health Funds Association chief executive Roger Styles said insurers had to be able to offer an affordable product that was appealing to people to voluntarily purchase.
Transgender care was excluded because of the high cost of the transition process, he said, and the risk of adverse selection. People who thought they might transition would take out cover that would pay for it, loading insurers with extra risk.
He said insurers did not agree with Poucher that this was discrimination.” Click here to read more
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