SPRINGFIELD — The state of Illinois has cautioned insurers about discriminating against transgender people.
The Illinois Department of Insurance bulletin issued to insurers this week details nondiscrimination provisions in the federal Affordable Care Act along with Illinois laws.
Backers say the move was prompted by concerns for transgender people's rights, a focus for some gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights advocates after Illinois legalized same-sex marriage this year.
Several other states including Oregon, California, Massachusetts and Vermont have recently issued similar statements to insurers.
The guidance reminds insurers that both excluding and denying coverage based on a person's gender identity are illegal.
However, some question the move. The Illinois Family Institute's Executive Director David Smith says it puts some religious business owners in a position that forces them to compromise their faiths.