This week my issues with my insurance has been moving up the ladder.
I first want to say locally all my management has been very supportive. Whether or not they are actually ok with it, they have been nothing but publicly supportive. This is actually better than I expected.
Some people have asked why I am being so public about this. Am I worried about reprisals or anything along that line. No, I think it is important to give others ideas on how people approach this situation. Plus I believe the more people that know, the more public pressure that transgender care is needed and isn’t for people who want to be different.
The EEO complaint itself hasn’t gone very far, after all this is the Department of Defense and anything takes ages to go somewhere.
However, the Assistant Director I talked about earlier was able to push my concerns higher than expected. Originally he had wanted to put me directly in contact with the highest point of contact in the DoD who could then talk to the point of contact at the highest level for OPM (Office of Personnel Management, the federal agency that is in charge of all HR/Benefits for all of the federal government).
Sadly, due to obscure rules I cannot talk to the highest point personally, I have to have an HR representative do it. Which is fine. So he put me in contact with an HR rep who has officially submitted everything I asked about to the Defense Civilian Personnel Advisory Service (DCPAS), the highest point of contact for the Department of Defense (not just DCAA).
I honestly don’t know how long it will take to get a response, but things have been going way quicker than expected, so maybe it will happen quickly. I do not expect in the end anything to change and we will have to do debt, but maybe it will soften things up and speed things for someone behind me who doesn’t have an option for debt.
Oh, I wanted to address a side note. I have gotten a lot of great feedback here about Jello and his surgery. Several people asked why does it cost so much. Part of the problem is we live in the Seattle area, the cost of living here is TREMENDOUS. The prices are that much more for everything here. The median home price here is $481,000 per Zillow. I totally wish medical prices were as cheap as some other areas of the country. Although to be honest, I know Jello will want to be picky about who he goes to as well.
Jello is hoping to get surgery from Dr. Tony Mangubat with a TRANSGENDER FTM CHEST RECONSTRUCTION (http://www.labelleviecosmetic.com/transgender-chest-reconstruction.shtml). The procedure itself is $8,500, but with the cost of medications and lost work for Jello its closer to $10k.
This doesn’t count that he might (and this is purely out of our pocket as it is cosmetic) get the masculinization liposuction which is another $3500 +. We were fortunate to find out that Dr. Mangubat does take our insurance, which is why we are fighting my employer’s health insurance for the top surgery itself.
Glad to hear that you are making some progress on your hubby’s behalf. Hopefully, they will hear you and the complaint of a lot of trans people. You are a special person, friend…keep fighting the fight…even if it doesn’t make many ripples for you, at some point it could make waves for tons of other people. Holding you in light and strength…
I hope and hold thumbs that you can get the system changed, it is pioneers and partners like you that make the difference in this world. Good Luck!
Good for you and Jello. I hope they pull their collective heads out of their asses and get on the ball and pay for everything. I’m currently looking at paying half of it up front and putting the rest on a medical credit card because I don’t know any other way to do it.