Jasmine Glenn and Jamie O’Brien are transgender women who have insurance coverage through Michigan’s Medicaid program, which contracts with private insurance companies, Priority Health and Meridian Health, to provide Medicaid services. Although Ms. Glenn and Ms. O’Brien’s medical providers determined that gender confirmation surgery was medically necessary, Priority and Meridian denied coverage, pointing to their policies that had blanket exclusions for gender confirmation surgery. The ACLU of Michigan represented both claimants in administrative proceedings, arguing that the blanket exclusions were unlawful.
In September 2018 the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services instructed Michigan Medicaid insurance programs to remove blanket exclusions from their policies, citing the nondiscrimination requirements of the Affordable Care Act. Meridian settled with Ms. O’Brien by reimbursing her for the expenses associated with her surgery. In November 2018 we filed a complaint with the Michigan Department of Civil Rights against Priority Health regarding its discriminatory policy.
(ACLU Attorney Jay Kaplan.)