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More healthcare choices for transgender Colorado residents

More healthcare choices for transgender Colorado residents

DENVER — LGBT activists are cheering the announcement that another health insurance plan will offer services for transgender Colorado residents.

Healthcare giant Kaiser Permanente announced this week that it will cover health services for transgender citizens following the announcement earlier this month that Colorado HealthOP, a nonprofit cooperative health insurance plan, would offer similar coverage.

transgender-health-careCourtney Gray, the Transgender Programs coordinator for the GLBT Community Center of Colorado, noted that transgender people have historically had a difficult time finding health care coverage.

“Colorado will be one of the first states to have a health insurer selling plans that do not exclude transgender people,” she said. “If you’re being denied access to health care altogether, based on who you are – when you’re at your most down and out and when you’re needing care – to be discriminated against at that point is devastating.”

According to the National Center for Transgender Equality, the transgender population has a 41 percent suicide rate, compared with less than 2 percent for the general population.

A spokesperson for the center said that a lack of adequate health care protections is a factor in the high suicide rate.

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The Denver-based GLBT Community Center of Colorado has offered to serve as a location for LGBT Coloradans to sign up for health coverage under Connect for Health Colorado.

A spokesperson for the Colorado Division of Insurance told LGBTQ Nation that all health insurers doing business in the state must offer coverage for the transgender population, although only two have done so thus far.

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