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Insurance Issues for Transgender Persons

(582 Ratings)

Produced on: April 15, 2015

Course Format On Demand Audio

Taught by


Course Description

Time 61 minutes
Difficulty Intermediate

In recent years, the federal government and a handful of state insurance commissioners have taken steps to prohibit discrimination, including transgender exclusions, in private health insurance. Though these developments have been widely celebrated within the community, few trans people are actually reaping the benefits. Join attorneys Jillian Weiss and Ezra Young as they examine the evolving landscape of private transgender health insurance coverage in the United States. 


Learning Objectives:

I.    Recognize transgender health care needs 

II.   Understand the evolving landscape of trans insurance protections at the state and federal level 

III.  Identify key strategies for addressing trans-specific exclusions in private insurance


Jillian T. Weiss

Law Office of Jillian T. Weiss

Jillian T. Weiss is a nationally recognized transgender rights attorney and law professor with three decades of legal experience. Jillian has a powerful track record of fighting for the rights of transgender people in the workplace. Her cases have resulted in landmark settlements and rulings increasing protections for transgender employees and sending an unmistakable message that employment bias will not be tolerated. She is also one of the nation’s preeminent transgender discrimination scholars who keenly understands the power of the courts and progressive government in achieving transgender equality under the law.

Prior to her appointment, Weiss was a tenured Professor of Law and Society at Ramapo College of New Jersey and the founder of the Law Office of Jillian T. Weiss P.C. She has a Ph.D. in Law, Policy and Society from Northeastern University and a J.D. from Seton Hall Law School, as well as a B.A. in Classics from Yeshiva University. Among her milestone cases are Jamal v. Saks & Co., an employment discrimination case against Saks Fifth Avenue, and Chavez v. Credit Nation Auto Sales, LLC, in which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled that a transgender woman may take her employment discrimination case against a Georgia auto sales company to trial.

In 2014, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission chose her client’s case as the first of two to be litigated by the Commission on behalf of a transgender employee. EEOC v. Lakeland Eye Clinic, PA, resulted in a six-figure settlement. The Department of Justice followed suit in March 2015, in the case of US v. Southeastern Oklahoma State University, which is pending in an Oklahoma federal court. In addition, Weiss and the EEOC brought a transgender employment discrimination lawsuit against Deluxe Financial Services, Inc., one of the nation’s largest check-printing companies. The suit resulted in a large settlement and sweeping workplace policy changes at the company.

Jillian is a past board member of Lambda Legal, has been Chair of the annual Trans Law Symposium, and has consulted with private and public organizations regarding gender identity policy and employee gender transitions, including Harvard University, Boeing and New York City.

Jillian is committed to dismantling the systemic discrimination that inordinately burdens trans people, particularly people of color and others caught at the intersection of multiple forms of prejudice, such as race, class and gender bias.

Ezra Young

Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund

Ezra is TLDEF’s Director of Impact Litigation. His work centers on trans rights, with a focus on rights of recognition, employment protections, and health care and insurance coverage issues.

Ezra has represented trans clients in several ground-breaking Title VII cases, including: Jamal v. SaksChavez v. Credit Nation Auto SalesEEOC v. Deluxe Financial ServicesEEOC v. Lakeland Eye Clinic, and United States et al. v. Southeastern Oklahoma State University et al.. Ezra has also represented trans clients in administrative actions across the country, including appeals cases seeking coverage for transition related medical care. In early 2016, Ezra won an appeals case before the Medicare Appeals Council, the first case in which the Council ordered a health plan to cover vaginal reconstruction surgery for a transgender woman.

Ezra received a BA in Philosophy from Cornell University. Ezra received his JD from Columbia Law School. While in law school, Ezra was Executive Managing Editor of the Columbia Journal of Gender and Law and Online & Consulting Editor of the Columbia Journal of Race and Law.

Ezra served as Post Doctoral Scholar at Columbia Law School from 2012 to 2014, focussing on trans rights, critical race theory, and intersectionality; Ezra’s studies were supervised by Professor Kimberlé Crenshaw. Concurrently, Ezra served as research director of the Columbia Center for Intersectionality and Social Policy Studies and legal director of the African American Policy Forum.

Prior to joining TLDEF, Ezra was an associate at the Law Firm of Jillian T. Weiss, P.C.


Katie F.

EXCELLENT!!! so pleased to see this topic in mainstream legal education!

Jonathan B.

male moderator- very informed in his subject specialty.

Mona H.

Very glad to see that a course on transgender issues was available for CA's elimination of bias requirement - thank you!

Vasiliki N.

Emerging and specialized area of law. Enjoyed learning about it.

Kevin B.

One of the best I've listened to! Practical and great to hear the practitioners clear dedication to their clients and the law!

Kimberly S.

I work in the heath care space as well and greatly appreciated this CLE. Thank you!

Melvin P.

very interesting at the end with the part re kids.

Tim T.

Good course

Jeffrey S.

Very clear and concise presentation.

Jane E.

I liked the Q-A format.

Mary W.

Excellent and unusual topic.

Nicole C.

Highly recommend!

Amy W.

This was a great class on emerging law. The instructors were knowledgeable and provided good resources.

Vincent C.

Well done

Julie A. B.

Timely subject.

Meri G.

Very good. Speakers were very engaging. They challenged the listeners to think proactively about their clients' needs.

Dem H.

Excellent presentation.

Daniel H.

As someone who is involved in representing insureds with claims, this was a very informative CLE - on an issue that is coming to the forefront.

Carrie D.

Excellent, full of practical tips and how to help clients navigate insurance issues.

Helen B.


Debbie S.

Very interesting topic which provides helpful guidance and strategies for in dealing with health insurance denials in general

Kimberly B.

thank you, so informative.

Thomas B.

I knew nothing about this topic - very interesting.

Patrick P.

Very timely topic. Even if you don't practice in insurance or civil rights, this information is good to know.

Albert Noel G.

Excellent, timely and especially perspective expanding.

Karel H.

Thank you

Kim C.

Very knowledgeable and timely.

Elizabeth L.

Glad Lawline is covering this important emerging topic!

Allison A.

this is not my area of practice but I was interested in learning about a new area - it was one of the best presentations I've heard - concise, very practical, informative, well-organized, kept it interesting and the speakers were very knowledgeable. Wish

Dan H.


Jeffrey M.

A rare insight into a complex legal issue, delivered by two experts who know their stuff.

Nann D.

Extremely interesting.

Jennifer F.

Thoughtful and sensitive presenters. Well informed, too!

Eileen N.


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