Medicare | Centro Nacional para la Igualdad Transgénero

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Medicare

Ejemplo de tarjeta de seguro de salud de Medicare.

Medicare is one of America’s most important health programs, providing health insurance for tens of millions of adults over 65 and people with disabilities. As with private insurance, transgender people sometimes encounter confusion about what is covered or barriers to accessing coverage—both for transition-related care and for routine preventive care. 

 

¿Qué cubre Medicare para las personas transgénero?

Medicare cubre la atención preventiva de rutina independientemente de los marcadores de género.
Medicare covers routine preventive care, including mammograms, pelvic and prostate exams. Medicare has to cover this type of care regardless of the gender marker in your Social Security records, as long as the care is clinically necessary for you. The Medicare manual has a specific billing code (condition code 45) to assist processing of claims under original Medicare (Parts A and B). This billing code should be used by your physician or hospital when submitting billing claims for services where gender mis-matches may be a problem.

Medicare cubre la terapia hormonal médicamente necesaria.
Medicare also covers medically necessary hormone therapy for transgender people. These medications are part of Medicare Part D lists of covered medications and should be covered when prescribed. Private Medicare plans should provide coverage for these prescriptions. All Medicare beneficiaries have a right to access prescription drugs that are appropriate to their medical needs.

Medicare covers medically necessary transition-related surgery.
For many years, Medicare did not cover transition-related surgery due to a decades-old policy that categorized such treatment as "experimental." That exclusion was eliminated in 2014, and there is now no national exclusion for transition-related health care under Medicare.

In practice, this means coverage for transition-related care will be decided on a case-by-case basis, no different than how Medicare handles coverage for most other medical treatments. For example, in 2015 the Medicare Appeals Council issued a decision ordering a Medicare plan to pay for transition-related surgery for a transgender woman because it was reasonable and necessary to treat gender dysphoria.

Some Medicare Advantage plans and local Medicare contractors have specific policies for coverage of transition-related care that serve as guidelines for their decision to authorize coverage.

Does coverage vary depending on where I am or what type of plan I have have (Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part D)?

No, no debería. Medicare should provide coverage of medically necessary transition-related care regardless of your state.

However, depending on where you live, your Medicare local contractor may have specific guidelines for coverage of transition-related care. Here are some local guidelines NCTE is aware of:

  • Palmetto GBA (applicable in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia)
  • Noridian Healthcare Solutions (applicable in Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wyoming)
  • Noridian Healthcare Solutions (applicable in American Samoa, California, Guam, Hawaii, Nevada, Northern Mariana Islands)

You can search for specific local policies on CMS’ website.

Whether you have Original Medicare (Part A and B) or private Medicare (Medicare Advantage), Medicare should provide coverage of medically necessary transition-related care. The same should be true for prescription drugs.

However, if you have Medicare Advantage you should make sure to consult your member handbook for more details about your plan (see this helpful video from Transcend Legal on how to find your booklet and understand your coverage). You should also find out if your plan has a specific medical policy with specific Medicare Advantage guidelines and conditions on coverage for transition-related care (estas son algo ejemplos of these types of policies).If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, we recommend you apply for preauthorization before accessing transition-related care.

To find out more about the preauthorization process, please access NCTE’s Health Coverage Guide. NCTE will soon include specific Medicare language for Medicare Advantage plans on this resource.

For prescription medications that are transition-related, we recommend you request a “coverage determination” from your Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage plan. You can find more information on this guide and access a model coverage determination form.

¿Qué hago si se niega la cobertura?

If you experience a denial of coverage you believe to be inappropriate (including coverage of preventive services or transition-related care), you may file an appeal. We highly recommend that you consult with a lawyer before doing so (these are some organizations that might be able to help).

For more information about filing appeals, you can refer to Medicare’s official guide y Sitio web de Medicare.

 

How Do I Change the Gender Marker with Medicare?

Original Medicare (Parts A and B) beneficiary cards no longer list gender. Your Medicare insurance records will typically be based on Social Security data. To learn more about updating your name and gender marker with Social Security, check out our ID Documents center.

As a reminder, the gender marker you have in the Medicare record system should not impact access to care. Medicare should provide access to all clinically appropriate services for your body, including services typically considered to be “sex specific” (such as pap smears or prostate exams). The Medicare manual has a specific billing code (condition code 45) to assist processing of claims under original Medicare (Parts A and B). This billing code should be used by your physician or hospital when submitting billing claims for services where gender mis-matches may be a problem.

¿Qué pasa si me tratan con falta de respeto?

If you encounter disrespect, harassment or other discrimination or inappropriate treatment related to being transgender, you may make a complaint. For problems when making inquiries or appeals in a private Medicare Advantage or Part D plan, you may file a complaint or grievance with your plan. For any other customer service problems, we recommend contacting your regional Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) office. También puede compartir su experiencia with NCTE to aid in our advocacy efforts.

Información sobre cómo presentar apelaciones y quejas

¿Cómo presento una apelación?
http://www.medicare.gov/claims-and-appeals/file-an-appeal/appeals.html

Cobertura de medicamentos recetados de Medicare: cómo solicitar una determinación de cobertura, presentar una apelación o presentar una queja
http://www.cms.gov/partnerships/downloads/11112.pdf

Formularios y otra información para apelaciones de medicamentos recetados
https://www.cms.gov/MedPrescriptDrugApplGriev/

Información de contacto para las oficinas regionales de CMS (Medicare)
Oficinas Regionales de CMS

Recursos adicionales

Para información general de Medicare
1-800-MEDICARE (633-4227)

Manual de procesamiento de reclamaciones de Medicare, Capítulo 32 - Cómo abordar las discrepancias de género (consulte la Sección 240)
http://www.cms.gov/manuals/downloads/clm104c32.pdf 

Medicare Interactive - Un recurso del Centro de Derechos de Medicare
http://www.medicareinteractive.org

Medicare y usted 
https://www.medicare.gov/medicare-and-you

Programas estatales de asistencia en seguros de salud 
https://www.shiptacenter.org/about-medicare/regional-ship-location

 

 

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