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An Open Letter to Insurance Companies in Support of Gender Equality

To whom it may concern,

I am writing on behalf of the clients and employees of Being Inc, and really on behalf of all people, to ask that the requirement to specify “sex” on insurance claims be made non-essential, or for a third category of “X” to be added, thus giving clients three options: male, female, or X.

Many of your customers and users prefer to not answer the question of specifying sex as a result of personal preferences — preferences that may have caused a lifetime of pain and that often bring clients to therapy in the first place. To require sex be specified requires clients to not only fit into a binary box, one which is a cultural construct and which feels limiting and arbitrary, but also to face what has been, in some cases, traumatic. We feel it is akin to asking for a clients’ sexual orientation or religion. How any of that information relates to claim submission and payment of that claim leaves us at Being lost. 

Access to quality mental health care remains a difficult and obstruction intense endeavor, one that is further complicated by having to state one’s sex. In a world where racism, anti-semitism, xenophobia, and hatred appear to be practiced with such abandon, making this one change, a change that would allow for more inclusion, seems like not just the right, but the moral and ethical, choice to make. 

Being’s existence is predicated on inclusion and acceptance; we strive to remove barriers to accessing care and create an experience where our clients and staff feel fully represented. Because of this, we believe this demographic requirement creates significant barriers and is detrimental to quality care. We call on all insurance companies – Blue Cross, Optum, Health Partners, Preferred One, Cigna, Aetna, United, Medica, UCare, et al – to act in the best interests of their customers and remove the need to specify sex and to provide coverage to all.