Transgender community celebrates letter sent to Wash. insurers

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by DREW MIKKELSEN / KING 5 News

KREM.com

Posted on July 8, 2014 at 7:06 AM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 8 at 7:06 AM

TACOMA, Wash.—A piece of paper can be empowering, according to Henry Waymack.

”It definitely needed to be said,” said Waymack, who transitioned from a woman to a man six years ago.

He was glad to see Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler send a letter to insurance companies last month reminding insurers they cannot deny coverage for transgender patients based on gender.

Waymack said he had been reluctant to go to the doctor for the past two years after his insurer refused to pay for what is considered preventative care for women.

”They said we don’t understand why we’re being billed for this. You’re a male, this must be a mistake,” said Waymack.

He said he thought they were wrong, but didn’t want to fight and paid the bill.

”For me it wasn’t emotionally worth it to fight that battle,” said Waymack.

But after seeing the commissioner’s letter he won’t be backing down from his insurance company.

Neither will the members of the discussion group he moderates at Tacoma’s Rainbow Center.

”It makes them very, very hopeful,” said Waymack, “As far as they knew, things would never change and get better.”
 

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