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trans rights

Identity

Trans doctor says major insurance companies are refusing to pay her after legal name change

"As long as they're denying my claims for my services on that ground, they can do that to any trans healthcare provider of any type."

Courtesy of Dr. Tiffany Najberg

Insurance companies can withhold pay for trans doctors and one doctor is fighting back.

Insurance companies can be a frustrating maze for consumers and for providers. It's not uncommon to call the number on the back of your insurance card and get a different answer every time you call with the same question. But for Dr. Tiffany Najberg, the fight with the insurance companies is a bit more personal.

Najberg is a transgender woman who has run into a multitude of problems in the insurance claims world—not as a patient, but as a provider. After changing her name legally and updating all of the required information on official websites, including the Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare and the National Plan and Provider Enumeration System, two websites insurance companies look at to verify providers' credentials and ability to practice, her claims have been denied.

In the beginning of this year-long saga, Najberg was receiving checks, but the checks were in her dead name and couldn't be cashed. After going several rounds with the insurance companies, the checks stopped coming and the insurance companies started denying her claims altogether. Of course, this prompted even more questions and frustration since Najberg updated the insurance companies with her legal name as required.

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Wil Wheaton | Wil Wheaton speaking at the 2018 Phoenix Comic… | Flickr

Comedy can be uplifting. And it can also be downright destructive. The rise of cancel culture has made us take a hard look at what we normalize for the sake of a good joke. And with Dave Chappelle’s controversial comedy special, that includes jokes which can be perceived as cruel or homophobic jabs by the LGBTQ community and allies.

At the same time, comedy is supposed to be disruptive, is it not? It’s meant to be audacious, bawdy, outrageous. And let’s not forget it’s often said sarcastically, meaning we don’t really believe what what's being said … right?

Wil Wheaton has previously given a brilliant take on how to separate the art from the artist. This time though, he’s confronting the art itself and what makes it problematic.

For anyone who genuinely doesn't understand why I feel as strongly as I do about people like Chappelle making transphobic comments that are passed off as jokes, I want to share a story that I hope will help you understand, and contextualize my reaction to his behavior.
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Gavin Grimm came out as a transgender male six years ago to his classmates at Gloucester High School in Virginia. The Gloucester County School Board retaliated by prohibiting students "with gender identity issues" from using the same common restrooms as other boys and girls.

Instead, Grimm was forced to use an "alternative appropriate private facility."

Grimm was excluded from using the restroom that confirmed his gender even after undergoing hormone therapy which "altered his bone and muscle structure, deepened his voice, and caused him to grow facial hair." He also obtained a Virginia state I.D. card and birth certificate that listed his legal sex as male.

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via Wikimedia Commons and Ted Eytan / Flickr

There has been a tide of anti-trans paranoia washing over America's red states during the past year. Thirty-five bills have been introduced by state legislators to limit or prohibit transgender women from competing in women's athletics. There were only two in 2019.

However, this week has seen some significant pushback in multiple states.

Republican North Dakota governor Doug Burgum surprised a lot of people by vetoing a bill that would prohibit transgender girls from participating in women's sports.

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