The week leading up to November 20 is observed as Transgender Awareness Week. While new healthcare laws may have expanded access for more Americans, there are still populations that continue to have little to no access to appropriate health care. In the United States, over 27% of transgender/gender non-conforming people have been denied health care.
As transgender/gender non-conforming have become more mainstream terms in recent years, one should be aware of the concept of gender identity:
“Gender identity” shall mean a person’s gender-related identity, appearance or behavior, whether or not that gender-related identity, appearance or behavior is different from that traditionally associated with the person’s physiology or assigned sex at birth. Gender-related identity may be shown by providing evidence including, but not limited to, medical history, care or treatment of the gender-related identity, consistent and uniform assertion of the gender-related identity or any other evidence that the gender-related identity is sincerely held, as part of a person’s core identity; provided however, gender-related identity shall not be asserted for any improper purpose.
Transgender/gender non-conforming people can face significant problems when trying to access care; most commonly locating providers who are knowledgeable about transgender health issues, and the ability to secure and pay for the services they need. Even paperwork can be a barrier to healthcare for transgender individuals as standard forms often only list “male” or “female.” Nearly 21% of transgender people in the US report being subjected to harsh or abusive language from a health care professional, and an almost equal amount say health care providers have blamed them for their own health conditions. Transgender people report the highest rates of discrimination and barriers to care among the LGBT community.
Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has information on finding insurance for transgender-related healthcare, which can be a challenge for many transgender people. To further help those in need, NeedyMeds has a growing list of programs in our Diagnosis-Based Assistance database for transgender/gender non-conforming people that offer various forms of assistance such as financial aid or legal services. NeedyMeds’ unique crowdfunding platform HEALfundr is also available for individuals trying to raise funds for their transition. If you know any programs assisting transgender/gender non-conforming people that we don’t have listed on our site, leave and comment and let us know about it.