The Department of Health and Human Services’ most recent guidelines explaining the “preventive services” mandate under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act—or Obamacare—says health insurance plans must provide co-pay-free pap smears and mammograms to “transgender men.”
As defined by the federal Office of Personnel Management: “a person assigned the female sex at birth but who identifies as male is a transgender man.”
The guidelines, written as a FAQ sheet, state:
Q5: Can plans or issuers limit sex-specific recommended preventive services based on an individual’s sex assigned at birth, gender identity or recorded gender?
No. Whether a sex-specific recommended preventive service that is required to be covered without cost sharing under PHS Act section 2713 and its implementing regulations is medically appropriate for a particular individual is determined by the individual’s attending provider. Where an attending provider determines that a recommended preventive service is medically appropriate for the individual – such as, for example, providing a mammogram or pap smear for a transgender man who has residual breast tissue or an intact cervix – and the individual otherwise satisfies the criteria in the relevant recommendation or guideline as well as all other applicable coverage requirements, the plan or issuer must provide coverage for the recommended preventive service, without cost sharing, regardless of sex assigned at birth, gender identity, or gender of the individual otherwise recorded by the plan or issuer.
The FAQ goes on to state: “The HRSA Guidelines include a recommendation for all FDA-approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling for all women with reproductive capacity, as prescribed by a health care provider.”
FDA-approved contraceptives include abortion-inducing drugs and IUDs.
CNSNews.com contacted HHS by email Thursday to ask whether the latest guidelines definitively mean that insurance companies must provide transgendered men with all forms of birth control mandated under Obamacare’s preventive services regulation “for all women of reproductive capacity.” As of 12:50 p.m. Friday, the department had not responded.
As reported by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, 105 lawsuits have been filed against the federal government by plaintiffs who say the preventive services regulation violates their right to the free exercise of religion because it forces them to pay for or provide coverage for things in violation of their religious beliefs.
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Disclaimer: This article was not written by Lorra B.