Coverage for Gender-Affirming Voice Surgery and Therapy for Transgender Individuals.
To determine insurance coverage for gender-affirming surgery and voice therapy for individuals who seek to align their voice with their gender identity, and to analyze differences based on state-by-state transgender equality.Cross-sectional study.Policies from the top three commercial insurers per state in 2019 were reviewed. Coverage status was determined by web-based search, telephone interviews, and email inquiries. A state-by-state equality score was calculated based on the number of laws and policies relating to the transgender community. Correlation between number of preauthorized procedures and state equality scores was assessed.Of the 150 insurance companies reviewed, only four (2.7%) held favorable policies, whereas 113 (75.8%) provided no coverage. Endoscopic surgery, open surgery, individual voice therapy, and group voice therapy interventions were equally excluded (n = 93, 62.4%). Coverage was not correlated with laws driving transgender equality (P = .782).Gender-affirming voice interventions are seldom covered by commercial insurance companies. Despite established medical necessity and years of experience in practice, gender-affirming interventions for voice have not yet been fully considered by third-party payors. Further investigation regarding cost-effectiveness and treatment efficacy is warranted to improve insurance coverage of voice-related gender-affirming care.NA Laryngoscope, 2020.