New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday announced new initiatives to help protect transgender and gender non-conforming communities,.
“On Transgender Day of Remembrance, we honor the memory of transgender individuals who have lost their lives to hate-based violence,” said Division of Human Rights Commissioner Angela Fernandez. “The Division of Human Rights stands with the transgender community and will work to ensure that all New Yorkers know their rights and obligations under the Human Rights Law. New York State will hold individuals who engage in bias and discrimination based on gender identity accountable for their actions.”
Gov. Cuomo asked the Department of Financial Services (DFS) to propose more action to protect access to health insurance to the transgender and gender non-conforming community.
“New York is the proud home of the LGBTQ rights movement, and this year we’ve built on that legacy by enacting critical protections for transgender individuals,” Gov. Cuomo said.
As part of the initiative, the Division of Human Rights will create a public awareness campaign that will launch in January.
Cuomo added that “Transgender and gender non-conforming people still face discrimination and violence every day, and these critical measures send a clear message that New York will always stand up for every single member of our LGBTQ family no matter what happens in Washington.”
To protect Transgender and gender non-conforming people’s commercial health care, here’s what DFS proposes:
• Issue regulations to codify current DFS circular letters regarding coverage for gender dysphoria, coverage for non-gender specific services, and coverage for PrEP;
• Issue regulations to clarify prohibitions of gender identity discrimination in health insurance;
• Require external appeal agents with experience in transgender health to the extent practicable;
• Work with the Office of Mental Health to prohibit categorical exclusions in insurance plans for gender-affirming services so that individuals receive the medical necessity review they deserve.
In addition to this, Gov. Cuomo has asked that the Department of Civil Service eliminate any barriers for individuals to get gender-affirming procedures within the State’s empire plan, a health plan for state and local government employees and their family members.