Health Care Action Center

Despite attacks by the Trump Administration, trans people are protected from health care discrimination under federal law. Here’s how to use those protections to get the health care you need—and how to stand up against the Trump Administration’s attempts to promote discrimination.

Here's what you need to know

The bottom line: Federal law protects trans people from discrimination in health care, including discriminatory insurance exclusions. The Trump Administration is trying to encourage people to break that law—now with a new rule creating broad religious exemptions for health care providers—but it can’t change the fact that anti-trans discrimination in health care is illegal.

The Affordable Care Act makes it illegal to discriminate against trans people in health care. That means that it’s illegal for most insurance companies to exclude transition-related care and for health care providers to refuse to treat trans people or discriminate against them in other ways.

HHS is still trying to undo one of the most important nondiscrimination regulations adopted under President Obama. In 2016, the Obama Administration released a regulation making it clear that anti-trans discrimination in healthcare is against the law under Section 1557 of the ACA. That regulation didn’t create protections that weren’t already there—courts have said for years that sex discrimination laws like Section 1557 make anti-trans discrimination illegal—but it provided much-needed clarification about the law’s requirements and made sure that it was being enforced.

But the Trump Administration is trying to roll back that important regulation, along with other attacks on trans people’s health care access. President Trump can’t change the law, but he can make it harder to enforce it and send the message that providers and insurance companies can freely break the law. Read more about what the Trump administration’s actions mean here. We can and will fight these attacks—and trans people can continue to use the ACA’s protections to advocate for themselves. 

Fight back against the Trump Administration's attacks

Take action

  • Share your story. Tell us if you’ve experienced discrimination in health care or have benefited from nondiscrimination protections to help us advocate.

Learn more about the Trump Administration’s efforts to promote health care discrimination

Resources for being a health care advocate in your community

Use these resources to advocate for better policies and better care with your local hospital or clinic, your employer’s or university’s health care plan, or with other health care providers or insurers.

Advocating to get the health care you need

You still have a right to health care without discrimination

State rules and bulletins on health insurance nondiscrimination

In addition to federal law protections, many states have adopted formal policies making it clear that exclusions of transition-related care and other kinds of anti-transgender insurance discrimination are banned. (Remember: Just because your state isn’t listed here doesn’t mean you’re not protected.)  

Coverage of transition-related care in 2018 individual insurance plans

Trans health insurance guides for 18 states from Out2Enroll
Summary of Findings: 2018 Marketplace Plan Compliance with Section 1557

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