February 11, 2019
ACLU: Colorado company denied health care coverage to transgender man
DENVER – The American Civil Liberties Union and the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado filed a discrimination charge against InnoSource Inc. today on behalf of Dashir Moore, a 32-year-old transgender man who was denied health care coverage for treatment of gender dysphoria and subsequent transition-related care. Insurance carve-outs for transition-related care are illegal, yet two days after his surgery Mr. Moore was informed that his insurance company had denied the claim and he began receiving bills from the hospital, which eventually totaled nearly $30,000.
Mr. Moore alleges that InnoSource Inc. illegally discriminated against him by providing a health care plan to its employees that categorically excluded coverage for anything related to gender transition including “treatment, drugs, medicines, services, and supplies for, or leading to, gender transition surgery.” The exclusion applied to all transition-related care, including care that is medically necessary and otherwise would be covered under the plan.
“InnoSource’s denial of coverage for medically necessary care for the treatment of gender dysphoria illegally discriminates against transgender people,” said Sara Neel, Staff Attorney with ACLU of Colorado. “The idea that Mr. Moore paid for health insurance and is still being denied coverage for medically necessary treatment is outrageous.”
Prior to his surgery, Mr. Moore completed the necessary pre-op consultation at Denver Health as well as the insurance verification process. He contacted his claims administrator to confirm the surgery would be covered and was assured that it would be. Despite the company’s assurances, two days after his surgery, Mr. Moore was informed by his care coordinator that his insurance company had refused to pay. He is now obligated to pay nearly $30,000 in hospital bills out of his own pocket.
“The fact that InnoSource refused to cover any medical treatment for transition-related care made it clear to me that the company that I was working for believed that as a transgender person I was not worthy of equal treatment,” Mr. Moore said. “I no longer felt valued or that the company really cared about me or my success.”
The ACLU filed the Charge of Discrimination with the Colorado Civil Rights Division. Mr. Moore is represented by Sara Neel of the ACLU of Colorado and Ria Tabacco Mar of the American Civil Liberties Union.
Fact-Checking Common Myths on Transition-Related Care for Trans People, By Ria Tabacco Mar, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU's Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender & HIV Project
The ACLU of Colorado is the state’s oldest civil rights organization, protecting and defending the civil rights of all Coloradans through litigation, education and advocacy.