Citibank headlines: Transgender Citibank Employee Denied Facial Surgery Coverage

From Bloomberg Law:

A transgender Citibank NA employee lost her lawsuit seeking coverage for gender-confirming facial surgeries, when a Kentucky federal judge ruled the surgeries fall under an exclusion for cosmetic procedures in her Anthem BlueCross & BlueShield plan.

Most of the surgeries sought by Teeanna Polonczyk are procedures to make her facial characteristics appear more feminine, which are deemed cosmetic and medically unnecessary under the terms of her health plan, Judge David L. Bunning of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky ruled Wednesday. And none of Polonczyk’s requested surgeries fall under the gender reassignment procedures specifically covered by the plan, which include those directed at primary sexual characteristics, he said.

“While Plaintiff may challenge the definition of ‘cosmetic’ under the Plan, unfortunately, the Plan document is clear—gender reassignment surgeries are covered benefits, while surgeries to improve gender specific appearance are not,” Bunning said, dismissing Polonczyk’s claim for plan benefits under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

Polonczyk also accused the insurer of unlawful discrimination under the Affordable Care Act, arguing that non-transgender plan participants receive coverage for all of their medically necessary healthcare while transgender participants don’t.

Continue reading Transgender Citibank Employee Denied Facial Surgery Coverage on Bloomberg Law

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