Chase Brexton Health Care will hold a town hall on Nov. 17 at 6:30 p.m. to provide the latest information on transgender health care, including details regarding policy, coverage and open enrollment. The event, which will bring together Chase Brexton providers, members of the organization’s LGBT Health Resource Center, and representatives from FreeState Legal Project, will take place in the sixth floor employee lounge of the Chase Brexton Mt. Vernon Center, 1111 N. Charles St. in Baltimore.
Attendees will learn about new developments in trans health coverage and medical services. But the town hall will also provide organizers with an important opportunity to hear from members of the community attempting to access care.
“Law, policy and insurance coverage are changing rapidly and access to transition-related care is increasing,” said Beth Brolund, a staff therapist and case manager at Chase Brexton. “We’ve been working to help trans individuals navigate a complicated system and the problems that we know about. We need to hear from the community to get a better picture of what experiences people are having, what the needs are and how we can be of the most help.”
Among those joining the town hall will be Dr. Rachel Bluebond-Langner, an assistant professor of plastic and reconstructive surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, who will discuss her transgender surgery services’ recent experiences with health insurance issues.
“Trans individuals often feel lost when trying to complete their transition safely in the medical world,” explained Chase Brexton provider Jill Crank, CRNP. “We would like to provide a forum to discuss what Chase Brexton offers in terms of primary and trans-related care, as well as highlight the promising changes (and challenges) in working with insurance companies to cover these services.”
Crank added, “Our ultimate goal is to become the place of choice for trans individuals seeking any type of healthcare, and we want them to know they are not alone in the fight for trans health equality.”
Though there have been advancements in LGBT legal rights, many obstacles still remain, particularly in securing access to health care.
“With open enrollment season upon us for plans in the Maryland Health Connection and many other private health insurance plans, it couldn’t be more timely to share information about what plans cover transition-related care and what obstacles still remain,” said Jer Welter, deputy director and managing attorney at FreeState Legal.
The town hall is the first in a series of meetings planned to discuss many aspects of trans health and address community needs.
“In the rapidly changing landscape of transgender health care and coverage, we all still believe that this is an issue of social justice,” Nate Sweeney, executive director of the LGBT Health Resource Center, pointed out. “Transgender individuals should not have to jump through extra hoops to get their health care needs met. This team of the FreeState Legal Project, Chase Brexton, and the LGBT Health Resource Center are glad to be working on this project together to try and address this injustice.”
Corey Lacey contributed to this report.