September 7, 2018

The Stigma and Bias Making Health Insurance Terrible for Trans People

Written by Gillian Branstetter

Like millions of spouses around the country, Anton Prosser uses the insurance his husband receives from his employer.

“I’m a writer,” said Prosser. “You could say I’m a bit of a househusband.”

The 38-year-old from Austin, Texas was typically quite happy with his insurance coverage until he sought a prescription for hormone replacement therapy in 2014. Hormone replacement therapy is a commonly-prescribed treatment for transgender people like Prosser.

Prosser’s doctor refused to write the prescription because he “ knew absolutely nothing about transitioning,” said Prosser. Rather than look up basic information about the medications and widely accepted clinical guidelines, the doctor told him to find another doctor, giving him a list of thirty other doctors to “try.”

With no other choice, Prosser cold-called those other providers one by one. “I basically had to out myself every time on the phone and, oh my god, the responses that I got,” said Prosser. Most refused to see him, saying things like: “‘We don’t that crazy-ass thing here,’ ‘Don’t ever call here again,’ ‘We don’t do that in Austin, you’ll have to go to Houston.’”

“It was so upsetting and so horrible. I was so horrified,” said Prosser.

Hormone therapy is widely used to treat a variety of endocrine conditions, and is also a safe and reliable treatment for transgender people with gender dysphoria. Many doctors consider it part of primary care and don’t hesitate to prescribe it if recommended by a therapist.

Read the full article here>>