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News: 2014 Press Release

For Release: February 28, 2014
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Transgender access to care

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones issued the following statement after the announcement by Washington D.C.'s mayor Vincent Gray requiring health insurance companies to remove language that discriminates on the basis of gender identity:

"I commend Mayor Gray for his efforts in eliminating exclusions that unjustly deny transgender individuals access to care. Washington D.C. now joins California, Oregon and several other states in a growing effort to eliminate discrimination in healthcare and ensure all individuals are given equal access to medically necessary treatment. It is encouraging to see that more health insurers across the nation are providing equal coverage to all of their policyholders. As the first department to issue and enforce regulations for gender nondiscrimination in insurance coverage, we have received and responded to consumer complaints of discrimination by insurers-including coverage denials for treatments routinely covered for policyholders, but specifically denied to some based on their gender identity. In each instance, we have successfully intervened, succeeded in reversing the denials, and ordered insurers to apply the same standards to all policyholders. These situations serve as a reminder to all regulators that our job is first and foremost about ensuring equal protection for all consumers. I am proud of my department's strong stance in protecting LGBT consumers from discriminatory practices and will continue to ensure all California policyholders get the healthcare they need."

                                                                                              Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones

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The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California, regulating the $123 billion insurance marketplace. In 2013 the California Department of Insurance received more than 170,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $63 million in claims and premiums. Please visit the Department of Insurance web site at www.insurance.ca.gov. Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800.927.HELP or 213.897.8921. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.

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