Insurance Equality: Challenging Denials of Trans-Related Care

Denying coverage for transgender people’s medically necessary care is discriminatory and illegal, but insurance companies get away with it all the time. We need to fight back! Come hear about the variety of laws that protect your rights to medically necessary services and how to work with your insurance company/employer to get covered for trans-related care. Participants will leave with an understanding of the insurance appeals process, self-help resources to navigate insurance coverage, and the enthusiasm to fight wrongful insurance denials in order to access the care needed to thrive.

Intended audience(s)

All audiences, specifically those who want to learn about insurance coverage for trans-related care.

About the presenters

Noah E. Lewis, Esq.

Founder and executive director of Transcend Legal, a national, New York City-based organization focused on eliminating barriers to insurance coverage for transgender-related health care. Noah previously worked for the Transgender Law Center, the National LGBTQ Task Force, and served as the staff attorney at Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund for five years. A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Noah is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and was the first openly transgender student to graduate from Harvard Law School.

Luc Athayde-Rizzaro

As Policy Counsel at the National Center for Transgender Equality, Luc advocates to ensure transgender people can access life-affirming, nondiscriminatory health care at the federal and state level. He is also a Steering Committee member of TransLAW, an organization supporting transgender people in the DC metro region to update their identification documents. A Brazilian native, Luc now calls Maryland home. He received his Law degree from the Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Rio de Janeiro, and has an LL.M from American University Washington College of Law.

Amy Nelson, Esq.

Amy Nelson is the Director of Legal Services at Whitman-Walker Health in Washington DC, a community health center offering gender-affirming healthcare; mental health and addiction services; and free legal services to pursue immigration relief, fight LGBTQI and HIV discrimination, access public benefits, empower seniors, and protect trans rights (including identity documents and access to surgery). WWH serves approx. 2,000 trans medical patients and 500 legal clients annually. Amy is a frequent speaker on trans legal issues and was honored with Capital TransPride’s Engendered Spirit award.

Jess Davis-Ricci

Jess Davis-Ricci is a Staff Attorney at Whitman-Walker Health in Washington, D.C., a community health center offering gender-affirming healthcare; mental health and addiction services; and free legal services. As a Staff Attorney, Jess is committed to empowering the trans and gender non-conforming communities through providing direct legal services on matters related to name changes, updating the gender designation on identity documents, accessing public benefits, protecting transgender rights, and fighting LGBTQI and HIV discrimination.