Thursday, May 18, 2017

A High Cost To Pay

We sometimes forget that the surgery that we have is dangerous, it is major surgery and with it comes risks.
Transgender Georgia man who fought judge for name change dead at 25
Georgia Voice
By Patrick Saunders
May 16, 2017

Rowan Feldhaus, a transgender Augusta man who successfully fought a Georgia judge to get his name changed, has died after complications from surgery. He was 25.

Superior Court Judge David J. Roper denied Feldhaus’ request last June because it might offend the “sensibilities and mores” of other Georgia citizens. Roper’s decision was later overturned by the Court of Appeals of Georgia in January, and both Feldhaus and another transgender man whom Roper ruled against in a separate decision got their official name changes.

WRDW reports that Feldhaus suffered complications after one of his gender affirmation surgeries, going into septic shock after a hysterectomy and losing oxygen to his brain.

“Rowan knew the risks going into all of this and he was willing to accept the risks to do what he knew he wanted to do,” Austin Atkins, a friend of Feldhaus told WRDW. “Rowan will always be a personal hero of mine. he set an example for others to follow with how he lived his daily life.”
In addition to the fact that Gender Confirming Surgery is major surgery there are many diseases that can complicate GCS and it can make the surgery very hazardous.

Then there is paying for all of our healthcare for our transition and post care.
I Can't Afford to Transition: The Unseen Costs of Being Transgender in 2015
Living authentically comes with a hefty price tag.
Marie Claire
By Samantha Leal
July 21, 2015

Some insurance agencies are making moves to update their policies. In fact, Aetna—one of the biggest health carriers in the U.S.—became the first major health-benefits company to cover gender-reassignment surgery for its holders in 2009. While others are following suit, there's still a divide between what's needed and what patients can get.

"Many providers have exclusions, deep in the plan documents, where they won't pay for things not only related to your transition, but because of your transition," Kalra says. "I've seen circumstances where a person broke their leg and had a cast put on, only to be told by the insurance agency that they're not going to pay for that because the person was on hormones. The insurance company was claiming that hormones had weakened the person's bones, even though clinical research has shown that's not true."

While many insurers are willing to work with individuals, there are far too many horror stories for them to be considered isolated incidents. "It can be exhausting and intimidating, and so confusing," Kalra says.
A lot of times it all depends on who answers the phone at the insurance agency and how you ask the question.

I know of some trans people who were refused coverage while others have gotten their surgery covered from the same insurance company

While others have gotten their electrolysis covered by using the ICD-10 code L68.0 for Hirsutism, it all depends on how you phrase the question. If you say you want electrolysis for transition you will not get anywhere and the insurance company will claim it is for cosmetic reasons. But if your doctor says it is medically necessary because you have Hirsutism then they may cover it.

This morning I am up at the Connecticut Convention Center doing a workshop at the ATI Conference.
B-6) Cultural Competency and Equal Access LawHomelessness disproportionally effects members of the LGBTQ community, yet to this day many individuals face discrimination when seeking assistance. In this workshop participants will learn effective language and definition of terms associated with the LGBTQ community, strategies for being an ally to the LGBTQ community, and HUD law around safe shelter and fair housing for LGBTQ individuals.
I am doing the workshop with; the Triangle Community Center, Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the agency that I represent the Connecticut TransAdvocacy Coalition.

I intend just to go there for the workshop and then run earns to get ready for the weekend up in Provincetown.

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