Commissioner Lara Issues Notice to Health Insurers on LGBTQ+ Health Protections in California Law
News: 2020 Press Release
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Today Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara issued a Notice to all California health insurers stating that California’s antidiscrimination laws must continue to be complied with despite the recent Trump Administration’s rule eliminating certain long-standing protections against discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation.
“Despite the federal government’s harmful stance towards the LGBTQ+ community, in California, we respect the right to health care regardless of gender or sexual orientation and, today, I am reminding health insurers in the state that companies still remain subject to California’s antidiscrimination laws,” said Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara. “I will continue to fight to ensure all Californians, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, and English proficiency, have access to quality health care and will work to vociferously defend this right in court. Today’s Supreme Court ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, further demonstrates that the Trump Administration’s final rule is on the wrong side of equality, fairness, history, and the law.”
The final federal rule, in part, eliminates existing federal protections against discrimination on the basis of sex. This federal action pursued by the Trump Administration will have a disparate negative impact on women, persons in the LGBTQ+ community, those living with disabilities, and individuals whose primary language is other than English. To the extent a person’s health coverage is subject to federal regulation, this final federal rule will impair the ability of people in these groups to access health care and facilitates invidious discrimination against them in accessing health care.
Persons who believe they have been subject to unlawful discrimination should contact the Department of Insurance’s Consumer Complaint Center at 1-800-927-4357, or submit a complaint through the Department’s website at www.insurance.ca.gov.
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Led by Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, the California Department of Insurance is the consumer protection agency for the nation's largest insurance marketplace and safeguards all of the state’s consumers by fairly regulating the insurance industry. Under the Commissioner’s direction, the Department uses its authority to protect Californians from insurance rates that are excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory, oversee insurer solvency to pay claims, set standards for agents and broker licensing, perform market conduct reviews of insurance companies, resolve consumer complaints, and investigate and prosecute insurance fraud. Consumers are urged to call 1-800-927-4357 with any questions or contact us at www.insurance.ca.gov via webform or online chat. Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800-927-4357. Teletypewriter (TTY), please dial 800-482-4833.