STAND. COM. REP. NO. 3292

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

RE: H.B. No. 2084

H.D. 2

S.D. 1

 

 

 

Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Twenty-Eighth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2016

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committee on Judiciary and Labor, to which was referred H.B. No. 2084, H.D. 2, S.D. 1, entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO INSURANCE,"

 

begs leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose and intent of this measure is to prohibit all insurers in the State, including health insurers, mutual benefit societies, health maintenance organizations, and health benefits plans under chapter 87A, Hawaii Revised Statutes, from discriminating with respect to participation and coverage under a policy, contract, plan, or agreement against any person on the basis of a person's actual gender identity or perceived gender identity.

 

Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission, American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii, Equality Hawaii, Hawaii Medical Service Association, Human Rights Campaign, LGBT Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawaii, and nine individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.

 

Your Committee finds that many health insurance plans and policies include some form of transgender-specific exclusions. As a result, transgender individuals may be excluded from health care coverage based on actual gender identity or perceived gender identity, rather than because of lack of medical necessity of treatment. While discriminatory exclusions in health insurance policies can impact transition-related services, these exclusions may also prevent transgender individuals from obtaining common wellness care treatment. Discrimination against the transgender community can have profound effects on the health care system as a whole, including increased emergency room visits, hospital admissions, and long term care needs that result from delayed or denied treatment for transgender individuals.

 

Your Committee further finds that ten jurisdictions, including the District of Columbia, have laws and policies protecting against discriminatory exclusions and denials of treatment based on gender identity, in at least some circumstances. The federal government is also currently acting to address the issue of discriminatory exclusions in health insurance plans. Implementation of this measure will enable Hawaii to follow this national trend by prohibiting discrimination in health care coverage, services, and treatment on the basis of actual gender identity or perceived gender identity.

 

As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Judiciary and Labor that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 2084, H.D. 2, S.D. 1, and recommends that it pass Third Reading.

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Judiciary and Labor,

 

 

 

________________________________

GILBERT S.C. KEITH-AGARAN, Chair