Medical Frustration

OPM-logoLast few weeks have been a headache. Last August I left my state auditing job to come audit for the Department of Defense. The money is eventually a lot better (I actually took a small paycut to come here with the increased cost of benefits, but if I stay here 2 years I will make 50% more than I made with the state).

I got here and like I have talked about there has been a mixed bag of reaction to being in a same sex marriage with a trans guy. Overall though I would say reaction has been good. However the medical coverage is not so good.

Washington State passed a law (and the insurance commissioner verified it) that all state plans MUST cover transgender care – including surgeries. This got us really excited, after all Group Health is the same plan I had at the state (well except 3x more expensive with the feds) and Group Health had just started covering surgeries. We were extremely excited that his top surgery was covered.

However, as Jello’s doctor pointed out, the federal government doesn’t cover any sort of care like that. I called Group Health and they confirmed it as well, the federal government has a specific rider that denies any sort of coverage. That means not only do they not say they will cover surgery, they specifically went out of their way to deny it. At this same point Group Health mentioned my old plan with the state had just been cleared to cover any trans care 100%… (well I do pay a 5-20% like I would for any other care but 100% of normal coverage is awesome).

I have called HR for my sub-agency, then the DoD itself and finally I have left messages with OPM, the federal Office of Personnel Management (they handle overall benefits). I haven’t heard back and I am a bit frustrated.

Don’t get me wrong, we didn’t expect any assistance when Jello first started this journey, but when we heard our state change the law, and that my old job covered it, I am a little frustrated that the feds can ignore what is required in our state for coverage.

Maybe I will get this worked out, but I know that is probably just a pipe dream. I figure once we are out of debt in a couple of years (and maybe I get my Master’s paid for if I do stay), I may consider going back to the state where I will get paid significantly less, but holds outlooks closer to my own. You never know though, maybe other agencies feel differently, I would love to be a VA auditor with Veteran’s Affair’s Office of the Internal General.

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4 Responses to Medical Frustration

  1. Jamie Ray says:

    That totally sucks. Good luck – do the “Obamacare” options in Washington cover surgery? Can Jello opt out of your plan and qualify?

    • He can’t opt out until end of the year (we could do a second insurance on just Jello but that makes it close to the same price as just paying for the surgery). We have discussed this as a possibility next year.

      I don’t want him to wait, but if he decides to it might work (also not sure if I am staying with DoD if I get another option as well, having problems with other aspects of the DoD as well.

  2. Jamie Ray says:

    It is a huge expense to pay for out of pocket, and all the financing options just make it more expensive because of the compounding interest. It is cruel and unfair.

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