Transgender New Yorkers have new health insurance protection

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ALBANY, N.Y. — Transgender individuals in New York state have new protections when it comes to health insurance coverage.

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo says health insurers can’t deny coverage based on gender identity. A state Department of Financial Services letter Wednesday tells health insurers to take reasonable steps to determine if the insured is eligible for services before denying a claim.

The action follows reports received by the department that some health insurance companies may be denying claims for services not typically provided to a person of a particular gender.

For example, a person who was assigned male at birth but presenting as female may be denied a claim for a prostate cancer screening.

The action is one of a series of steps by Cuomo to protect health insurance coverage regardless of federal actions.