Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Vermont Becomes the Fourth State to Ban Insurance Discrimination

Vermont just became the for state where the insurance commissioner issued an order banning discrimination in insurance...
Vermont Orders Insurance Companies to End Transgender Exclusions
Transgender Law Center
April 24, 2013
Transgender Law Center congratulates the state of Vermont today, as it becomes the fourth state to order insurance companies to end their practice of excluding medically necessary care for transgender people. Vermont’s Division of Insurance, under the Department of Financial Regulation (DFR), issued a bulletin effective April 22, that directs insurance companies to end the practice immediately, and explicitly states that all insurance plans submitted for Vermont’s Health Benefit Exchange are also disallowed from using these discriminatory exclusions.
You can read the complete press release and download the letter here.

The states that have ban discrimination in insurance are Colorado, Oregon and California and also the District of Columbia. 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

2013 – Transgender Lives: Intersection of Health and Law Conference

The seventh annual Transgender Lives: The Intersection of Health and Law Conference is on Saturday, April 27 at the UConn Health Center from 8:00 AM till 5:00 PM. This all day conference is geared towards Service Providers, Medical and Legal Professionals, Trans and Gender non-conforming community, allies and all those interested in the Health and Law issues facing the transgender and gender non-conforming communities.

Keynote Speaker: Mara Keisling, the Executive Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality. As one of the nation’s leading voices for transgender equality, Mara has appeared on news outlets such as CNN and CSPAN, and is regularly quoted in the New York Times, the Washington Post and hundreds of other national and local print and electronic media.

Some of this Year’s Workshops covered topics such as:
  • The Health Care Professional and the Transgender Patient
  • The Effects of Discrimination on Trans Health.
  • Protecting and Advocating for the Transgender Child: A Legal Guide for Parents and Educators
  • How to Successfully Transition in Your Employment
  • What Transgender is NOT...
  • Authentic Acceptance: Accepting our whole self from the inside out
  • Middle Way: Living between the Binary or Double Your Pleasure, Double Your Fun
  • Partners, Family and Friends: Grief and loss, dealing with stigma, coming-out and other common experiences.
You can find a full list of workshop here

High Level Conference Timeline

08:00 - 08:30 AM : Registration and Continental Breakfast
08:30 - 09:15 AM : Welcoming Remarks and Introductions
09:15 - 12:00 AM : Morning Workshops
12:00 - 01:00 PM : Lunch
01:00 - 03:30 PM : Afternoon Workshops
03:30 - 04:45 PM : Keynote
04:45 - 05:00 PM : Closing remarks and wrap up

Registration is $25 for Individuals (though no one will be turned away due to registration cost), $50 for CECs for NASW & CHES

Registration online here  (Walk-ins are welcome!)
Or Mail to:
CTAC Conference Registration
P.O. Box 111
Farmington, CT 06034


California’s Ban on Transgender Exclusions in Health Insurance

The California’s Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) issued guidelines about exclusions of coverage based on gender identity and expression. The Transgender Law Center posted this about about the guidelines...
SAN FRANCISCO [April 9, 2013]: California’s Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) has ordered California’s health plans to remove exclusions of coverage based on gender identity and expression.

DMHC has issued guidance (.pdf) clarifying the obligations of California’s health plans under the Insurance Gender Nondiscrimination Act. In a groundbreaking directive to health plans, the DMHC confirmed that California’s Insurance Non-Discrimination Act of 2006, authored by former Assemblymember Paul Koretz, guarantees all people the right to access coverage for medically necessary care regardless of their gender identity or gender expression. The directive also provides that patients who are denied coverage can appeal the decision for review by the Department. (See also: FAQ)
You can read the whole article here.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

CHRO: Dear Colleague Letter

In March, the CT Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities sent out a letter advising educators and parent organization that discrimination is illegal for gender identity and expression.
March 4,2013
School Principal,
PTA/PTO President

Dear Colleague:

In February, 2011, this office sent you a letter discussing the "Dear Colleague" letter that was issued by the Federal Office of Civil Rights in October 2010 that
addressed the issue of bullying and harassment in schools and provided examples of how a school's failure to address instances of bullying and harassment can violate civil rights. Both this agency and the Connecticut Department of Education continue to receive complaints about harassment and discrimination against students including but not limited to students who are transgendered.

The purpose of this letter is to remind you that, in addition to being a Federal Civil Rights violation, harassment and bullying on the basis of race, color, religion or creed, national origin, ancestry, sex, marital status, age, lawful source of income, mental retardation, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation or gender identity or expression, constitute a violation of Connecticut laws. Discrimination on the basis of transgender status is illegal, as codified by Public Act 11-55, which added "gender identity or expression" to the protected classes covered under Connecticut law. A more detailed explanation about gender identity discrimination is contained in the "Doe" declaratory ruling issued by this agency in 2000, which can be found on the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities' website. As "places of public accommodation", public schools have an affirmative obligation to prevent and respond to harassment and bullying that is based on the protected class of the victim. As parents, teachers and school administrators, you have both the ability and obligation to prevent bullying and to eliminate its harmful effects.
You can read the whole letter here.

Connecticut TransAdvocacy Coalition is a member of the CT Safe Schools Coalition