One of Colorado’s largest health insurance companies has reversed its previous stance and is now covering care for transgender patients.
Kelly Costello, 32, of Denver, received stunning news last week. One day after getting a formal notice that Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Colorado would not cover chest reconstruction surgery, the company abruptly overturned its decision. Costello received a written notice that Anthem has reversed its decision and now will cover “some or all of the services.” Costello had paid about $8,000 in out-of-pocket expenses for the surgery he underwent in April.
“I’m excited that we’re starting to set a precedent for access to trans-inclusive health care in Colorado,” said Costello.
In March, Colorado’s Division of Insurance issued a bulletin barring health insurance companies from discriminating against people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.
Anthem’s decision could have reverberations throughout the insurance industry. Its parent company, WellPoint, is the second biggest insurer in the U.S. behind UnitedHealthcare.