Monday, September 16, 2019

It Ain't Cheap

Let’s face it is not cheap to transition, besides medical cost there are also social costs involved.
What Does it Cost to be Transgender?
New research compares the costs of transition across 4 countries.
Psychology Today
By Karen L. Blair Ph.D.
September 14, 2019

A new paper published in a special issue of Psychology & Sexuality has explored the costs associated with transitioning related treatment for transgender and gender diverse individuals living in four different countries: Canada, Japan, South Africa, and the United States. The authors of the paper first presented their work as part of a symposium at the 2018 LGBTQ Psychology Conference: Preaching to the Choir, held in Montreal, QC.
You want to guess which country is the most expensive?
Name Changes
While name changes were free of financial costs in Japan, the other three countries all charged something for anyone wishing to officially and legally change their name, ranging from $13 (CAD) in South Africa to $270 in the United States. However, in Japan, some of the requirements for changing a name or gender marker were more stringent, such as including that the person undergoes sexual sterilization.
Yup the US is the most expensive, here in Connecticut a name change cost $255 but you can get a waver.

“While some of the costs of GAS [Gender Affirming Surgery] are covered in Ontario, certain surgeries and transition-related care are not covered. For example, voice surgery, hormone replacement therapy, and electrolysis are some of the healthcare treatments not covered in Ontario.”

“In Japan, costs of GAS range from $17,000 - $24,000 (CAD), which, until recently, were not covered at all.”

“Although the costs of GAS are covered within the public system [South Africa], in some cases, waiting lists are up to 25 years.” Yikes! You could grow old waiting!

“What is covered or not covered varies wildly between insurance policies, but in general, costs for transgender men are in the range of $20,000 CAD, and up to $35,000 for trans women.”

Here in Connecticut insurance must cover trans related health costs, that includes breast argumentation, electrolysis, and other medical procedures that are covered for the general population. But it is a nightmare to thread your way through the systems, for example to get electrolysis covered you have to an “F” on your medical records because Hirsutism is covered for women and it must be coded as L68.0.

The same think is true for breast argumentation, it has to be coded properly as medically necessary.

The other problem that I find is many of us never had to advocate for ourselves on health insurance and as I like to say the insurance companies favorite word is “NO!” The companies realize that many of us will give up and not fight the denial. I was on the phone last week helping a trans women on where to find information on appealing a denial (A good source of information is CTAC’s Where To Look For Help?).

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