TGI Network Announces Insurance Advocacy Toolkit

Post date: Jun 10, 2015 2:43:16 AM

Dear Business Leaders and Transgender Community Allies,

TGI Network of Rhode Island is the only all-volunteer, statewide organization dedicated to providing support and advocacy for the TGI community in Rhode Island and surrounding areas. Our mission is to serve the needs of the transgender, gender-variant, and intersex (TGI) communities in Rhode Island and surrounding areas through support, advocacy, and education. We seek to be a resource for TGI people navigating their life journeys as well as the legal and medical systems through our own programs and through collaboration with other organizations. In addition, we seek to serve as a resource to professionals working with the TGI community and as a liaison between the TGI and LGBT communities as well as the community at large.

There are an estimated 700,000 transgender individuals in the US and somewhere between 2,000-5,000 transgender people in Rhode Island alone. Very few transgender Rhode Islanders have access to health insurance that is fully inclusive of transgender medical needs, specifically medically necessary, transition related care. Some individuals are able to pay out of pocket for this medically necessary care. Others will choose to use retirement savings, credit cards or high interest medical loans to access care, jeopardizing their financial futures in the process. Many more individuals, who do not have access to financial resources, will suffer for years (or even decades) through their gender dysphoria without access to medically necessary treatment often resulting in additional physical and mental health complications.

TGI Network sees the provision of fully transgender-inclusive health insurance benefits as a priority concern for our organization and for our community. This is likely to have the largest impact on the greatest number of transgender individuals in Rhode Island. We call on transgender individuals, allies, and loved ones to tell your stories where safe and possible, talk to your employers and share with them this packet so that we may educate them on the need for fully transgender-inclusive health insurance benefits to be available to all Rhode Islanders.

We ask that employers stand with us and become a part of a statewide effort to make fully transgender-inclusive health insurance benefits available to the businesses and organizations who want to include them in their employer sponsored health insurance benefit plans.


Jayeson Watts, LCSW Trevor Beard

Advocacy Committee Chair Board President