Hawaii has passed a bill that requires insurance companies to cover gender-affirming care.
On 8 March, the state’s House of Representatives passed the HB 2405 bill by a nearly unanimous vote.
Under the legislation, health insurance companies would no longer be able to deny trans individuals coverage for procedures that are deemed “cosmetic.”
“The legislature finds that many transgender persons have experienced discriminatory treatment from health insurance providers when seeing coverage for gender-affirming treatments,” the proposal said.
The bill is now headed to Hawaii’s Senate for further deliberation.
If the bill progresses, procedures like facial surgeries, hair removal, mastectomies, hysterectomies, breast augmentations and vocal surgeries would be covered by medical insurers.
Shortly after the bill passed, LGBTQ+ activists took to social media to praise the impactful legislation.
One user wrote: “This is a wonderful bill that will do a ton of good for trans people in Hawaii.”
Another user tweeted: “We need less state legislatures like Texas and Florida and more like Hawaii. This bill is amazing and will do wonders for trans people.”
Even though this is a significant win for trans rights, the bill wouldn’t be enforced until July 2060.
This is a wonderful bill that will do a ton of good for trans people in Hawaii. Remember, even if you live in a deep blue state, there are pro-trans policies you can push in your legislature. CALL your representatives and make sure they are aware of this!
— Erin, Trail Mom (@ErinInTheMorn) March 9, 2022
We need less state legislatures like Texas and Florida and more like Hawaii.
This bill is amazing and will do wonders for trans people. 🏳️⚧️ https://t.co/P6240swOxu
— Taylor Ashbrook 🏳️⚧️ (@taylor_ashbrook) March 9, 2022
The passing of HB 2405 is a small win amongst the numerous anti-trans bills progressing throughout the US.
Over the last few months, states like Utah, Idaho, Iowa, and Indiana have introduced or passed bills targeting the trans community.
Recently, Texas has come under fire due to Governor Greg Abbott’s harmful anti-trans directives.
On 22 February, the conservative political figure released a transphobic letter – which ordered investigations into gender-affirming care for trans youth.
Since the release of the archaic document, activists have pushed back against the governor’s anti-trans rhetoric.
The directives have even been condemned by five district attorneys in the state, who said they would not enforce the “life-threatening” orders.
“We are deeply disturbed by Governor Abbott and Attorney General Paxton’s cruel directives treating transgender children’s access to life-saving, gender-affirming care as ‘child abuse,'” they said.
“We also want to be clear: we will enforce the Constitution and will not irrationally and unjustifiably interfere with the medical decisions made between children, their parents and their medical physicians.”
The statement ended with the group reassuring families of trans kids that they are “safe to continue seeking the care that their children need.”
As of 11 March, the investigation into trans youth have been halted by a temporary injunction from District Judge Amy Clark Meachum.