Civil Trial In Georgia: Health Insurance Denies Gender Reassignment Surgery

By Jean Robor | Thursday, 29 September 2022 05:15
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A sheriff’s deputy from Houston County in Georgia alleged the county’s health insurance denied coverage illegally for gender surgery.

On Monday, Sgt. Anna Lange was in court for a continuing civil trial seeking monetary damages.

Lange seeks over $10 000 in accrued out-of-pocket medical costs plus damages for attorney fees and emotional distress.

In June, U.S. District Court Judge Marc Treadwell concluded that rejecting surgery coverage was illegal under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, deeming it sex discrimination. He found that the surgery was “medically necessary,” according to the Blaze.

He cited a 2020 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that a funeral home in Michigan would not fire an employee based on their transgenderism. Treadwell concluded there was insufficient evidence to determine whether the county discriminated against Lange intentionally and ordered a civil trial for a jury to decide.

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After Treadwell’s ruling, the Blaze reported that Lange said, “This just shows that justice will prevail and ignorance won’t win. Hopefully, this will send a message to the trans community and their employers who withhold trans healthcare that this won’t be tolerated.”

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In 2018, according to the judge’s order in June, Lange indicated he wanted to start dressing as a woman and asked about insurance covering gender reassignment surgery. Lange revealed Sheriff Cullen Talton granted permission to dress as a woman but said he did not “believe in sex changes.”

Excluding gender reassignment surgery is nothing new for Houston County’s health plan. The surgeries have been rejected since 1998. In 2016, the plan was asked to update policies to include gender surgery to comply with the Affordable Care Act. The county continued to opt out of covering the surgery.

Houston County stated its decision to deny surgery coverage was not intended to be discriminatory against Lange but to keep health insurance costs low.

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