Tuesday, June 17, 2008

PFLAG Applauds the AMA

PFLAG applauds the American Medical Association’s (AMA) endorsement to remove financial barriers to transgender healthcare. Yesterday, at the AMA’s annual conference in Chicago, the AMA’s House of Delegates passed Resolution 122, calling for both public and private health insurance companies to cover the Gender Identity Disorder (GID) treatment in adolescents and adults. In the Resolution, the AMA stated that it opposes limitations placed upon a patient’s care by third-party payers (i.e. health insurance companies), when the appropriate treatment is based upon scientific evidence and sound medical opinion.

The passage of this resolution is incredibly significant for transgender people because it calls upon health insurers to cover the costs of transgender healthcare, which may include mental healthcare, hormone therapy and various surgical treatments. For far too long, transgender people and their allies have battled with public and private health insurance companies over the costs of coverage for these basic healthcare needs. All too often, insurers created discriminatory policies refusing coverage for any transgender related healthcare need, believing these treatments to be “medically unnecessary.” Resolution 122 clearly articulates the AMA’s opposition to such discrimination.

The AMA’s statement assures that discriminatory practices adopted by the health insurance industry will no longer be tolerated. Doctors and patients, together, will determine the best medical treatment, instead of health insurance companies. We commend the AMA for making this bold move, assuring that transgender people will receive the appropriate care that best meets their healthcare needs.

If you have the opportunity, be sure to express your gratitude to the AMA’s House of Delegates!

3 comments:

Dave Parker said...

My congratulations to the AMA for this bold step! With this resolution and Mary Jane Horton, Ph.D.'s determination that the real costs of coverage are minimal, there is no further excuse for insurance companies to refuse to pay for needed medical treatment for transgender people.

Two Auntees said...

I am pleased that the AMA has taken such a bold step in providing an avenue for transgender patience treatments; however how is this going to reflect on the APA's new revision of their policy and; how do we pressure the military health care rules and regulations to redefine their system to coincide with the AMA new resolution.

Sarahjane

Steve Ralls said...

Sarahjane,

It's true that the military has far to come in their treatment of transgender veterans. There are, however, some (small) signs of progess.

As you can see here, at least one VA medical facility in Boston has issued truly groundbreaking regulations on how to care for transgender veterans.

There's much more work that needs to be done, and the U.S. lags far behind many of our allies in caring for transgender service members and veterans, but we can take some small measure of hope in the truly significant guidelines that are coming out of Boston.