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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Lawsuit filed regarding trans exclusion for health benefits
2020-11-24

This article shared 1154 times since Tue Nov 24, 2020
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Lambda Legal and Sirianni Youtz Spoonemore Hamburger PLLC filed a federal lawsuit challenging Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois' (BCBSIL's) administration of a blanket exclusion of gender-affirming care in an employer-provided health insurance plan provided by Catholic Health Initiatives Franciscan, a Lambda Legal press release announced.

The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, in Tacoma, on behalf of a 15-year-old transgender boy, "C.P.," and his parents; it argues the exclusion is in direct violation of the nondiscrimination provisions under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act.

Lambda Legal contends that BCBSIL is a "covered health entity" under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which means BCBSIL cannot—and it has represented that it does not—discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, sex, age and disability. The ACA's Section 1557, which BCBSIL agrees it must abide by, prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex and gender identity, such as in the provision of transition-related care. As such, BCBSIL cannot administer the discriminatory terms of the health plan provided by the employer of C.P.'s mother, Pattie Pritchard—St. Michael Medical Center in Bremerton, Washington, which is part of the Catholic Health Initiatives Franciscan Health System, now known as CommonSpirit Health.

The case is C.P. v. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois. The complaint is at www.lambdalegal.org/in-court/legal-docs/cp_wa_20201123_complaint .


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