John Lyon of the Arkansas News Bureau reports this morning on TRANSform Health Arkansas, a collaboration between UAMS and the Arkansas Transgender Equality Coalition to collect survey data on health care issues facing trans people in the state.
The researchers are looking for survey participants between now and the end of January. The study is being funded by an initial $15,000 grant from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, a D.C.-based nonprofit. We mentioned the health survey in April when the grant was announced.
Lyons talks to Andrea Zekis, executive director of the Arkansas Transgender Equality Coalition, who’s written for the Times about trans issues. She explains the health needs of trans Arkansans extend beyond transitioning:
Zekis, who is transgender, said insurance companies sometimes will deny coverage even for services not related to transgender issues if a patient is transgender, as she learned when an insurer initially refused to pay for antibiotics she needed for an infection. Eventually the problem was straightened out, but at first the company assumed the antibiotics were related to gender transition and therefore were not covered.
Such situations can lead transgender people to try to keep health-care providers and insurance carriers from finding out they are transgender, Zekis said.