Revised Bulletin Addresses Prohibited Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity

On June 12, 2019, the Department of Financial Regulation (DFR) published Insurance Bulletin 174. According to the bulletin, Vermont law prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity. For this purpose, “gender identity” means an individual’s actual or perceived gender identity, or gender-related characteristics intrinsically related to an individual’s gender or gender identity, regardless of the individual’s assigned sex at birth.

The bulletin reminds carriers that they cannot exclude coverage for medically necessary treatment, including gender affirmation surgery for gender dysphoria and related health conditions. In addition, carriers may not deny coverage of gender affirmation as not medically necessary on the basis of age without other clinical factors or circumstances supporting the decision. The bulletin applies to new policies filed on or after June 12, 2019.

Employers have no new compliance obligations as a result of the bulletin. But employers should be aware of the prohibitions on discrimination based on gender identity, both in working with carriers on coverage and in answering employee questions relating to the issue.

Insurance Bulletin 174 »