|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 18, 2020
CONTACT: Jim Carson, Communications Director
Insurance Commissioner: Connecticut LGBTQ health care consumers remain protected from discrimination
Connecticut Insurance Commissioner Andrew N. Mais wants LGBTQ community members to know their fully insured health insurance plans regulated by the Department are protected from the new rule finalized by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that removes nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people. The federal agency issued rules amending Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), rolling back LGBTQ patient protections from discrimination.
“Access to health care is a basic human right,” Commissioner Mais said. “The Connecticut Insurance Department will act vigorously to protect the civil rights of LGBTQ members of our Connecticut family. We will not allow discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression.”
“At a time when America is having a conversation about what we can do to eliminate discrimination, this rule is a step backwards,” Governor Ned Lamont said. “I am proud to live in a state that protects its residents from discrimination on the basis of gender identity or expression. Nobody’s access to health care should depend on who they love or the gender in which they identify. My administration will ensure LGBTQ patients remain protected whenever possible.”
“Everyone deserves full access to quality healthcare. As communities across the country continue to address the COVID-19 pandemic, protecting public health is paramount. This decision — driven only by hate and discrimination — puts the health and wellbeing of our vulnerable populations at risk. It is very disturbing that the federal government took this action days before the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision affirming that all Americans are protected from discrimination in the workplace under federal law. Discrimination on the basis of who you love or how you identify has no place in our community, in our state, or in our country,” said Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz.
Governor Lamont wrote HHS last summer to champion all Connecticut residents’ right to timely and effective health care.
In 2013, the Insurance Department issued Bulletin IC-34 regarding gender identity non-discrimination requirements for individual and group health insurance policies. IC-34 specifically identifies gender identity or expression as a class for which fully insured individual and group health policies shall not discriminate. Any exclusion in a blanket policy for gender dysphoria, gender transition, and related services is prohibited.
In addition, PA 11-55 prohibits discriminatory practices based on gender identity and expression and with regards to laws covering employment, housing and public access.
For further assistance or if you have questions regarding nondiscrimination protections or any insurance issue, visit the Connecticut Insurance Department at portal.ct.gov/CID, call 800-297-3900, or email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For the most up-to-date information from the State of Connecticut on COVID-19, including guidance and other resources, visit ct.gov/coronavirus. Regular email news updates are available from the Governor’s Office by subscribing online here.
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