Gender-Affirming Benefits: Best Practices for Group Health Plans - McDermott Will & Emery

Gender-Affirming Benefits: Best Practices for Group Health Plans


Employers and plan sponsors are facing growing – and often conflicting – pressures related to the coverage of gender-affirming care. McDermott lawyers Sarah G. Raaii, Alden J. Bianchi and Scott Kenkel hosted a webinar to review recent legal developments in the shifting landscape of transgender benefits and best practices that group health plans should keep in mind as they evaluate how to cover transgender care.

Our program reported on the current state of the law, both state and federal, as it applies to self-funded and fully insured arrangements alike. It also included a review of the emerging case law and legislative efforts to both protect and ban access to gender reassignment surgery for minors.

Discussion topics included:

  • Applicable requirements for health plans under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and the Affordable Care Act
  • State laws banning or limiting gender reassignment surgery, including bans on travel across state lines
  • Federal regulator efforts to expand access to coverage
  • The role of third-party administrators and standard-setting organizations
  • Fiduciary best practices for handling transgender care claims

To learn more about gender-affirming benefits, read our On the Subject, Gender-Affirming Benefits: Best Practices for Group Health Plans.

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