Following Oregon and California, Washington D.C. has become the third jurisdiction in the United States to prohibit discrimination in insurance based on gender identity or expression.
A bulletin issued by Washington DC’s Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB) on March 15th, 2013 prohibits discrimination based on gender identity or expression by insurance companies who underwrite health-insurance policies in the District of Columbia, by clarifying that the District’s Unfair Insurance Trade Practices Act makes it illegal to refuse to insure, refuse to continue insuring, or limit the insurance coverage of an individual based on gender identity or expression.
The bulletin prohibits the exclusions and limitations of coverage based on gender identity and gender expression that have been used to deny coverage in the past for transgender people such as denying or limiting new policies, limiting coverage, or denying coverage that is provided to non-transgender people.
The District joins a growing number of employers, states and municipalities who believe that equal access to health care coverage is a matter of basic fairness, is medically necessary and does not increase health care costs. These entities have determined that health care decisions rest with the individual relationship between a doctor and a patient, and not with an insurance company.