STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1319
RE: S.R. No. 126
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2021
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Commerce and Consumer Protection, to which was referred S.R. No. 126 entitled:
"SENATE RESOLUTION SUPPORTING AND URGING THE INCLUSION OF GENDER TRANSITION TREATMENTS AND SERVICES AS MEDICALLY NECESSARY FOR THE PURPOSES OF HEALTH CARE INSURANCE COVERAGE,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to support and urge the inclusion of gender transition treatments and services as medically necessary for the purposes of health care insurance coverage.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Hawaii Health & Harm Reduction Center, AF3IRM Hawai‘i, University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, Rainbow Family 808, The Trevor Project, ACLU Hawai‘i, and three individuals.
Your Committee finds that, despite legislation enacted in 2016 that prohibits health insurance discrimination in participation or coverage under a policy against any person on the basis of the person's actual or perceived gender identity, numerous complaints have revealed that health insurance providers are not complying with the law, leaving many patients in a state of uncertainty about their rights and how to receive the medically necessary care to which they are entitled, which can in turn put lives and mental health at great risk. This measure acknowledges the medical necessity of transition-related treatment and services and provides guidance to health insurance providers to support increased access to care and services.
Your Committee notes the concerns raised in testimony that amendments to this measure are needed to require the Auditor to perform a social and financial assessment of newly mandated health insurance coverage, as required by law. These amendments would further support the goals of this measure and ensure that gender transition treatments be considered medically necessary for Hawaii's transgender community and covered by their health insurance policies.
Accordingly, your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Updating the measure's title to reflect its amended purpose;
(2) Inserting language requesting the Auditor to assess the social and financial effects of requiring health insurers to provide coverage for certain health care services related to gender transition treatments, as identified in S.B. No. 752, Regular Session of 2021;
(3) Inserting language requesting the Auditor to submit a report of its findings and recommendations, including any proposed legislation, to the Legislature, no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2022;
(4) Updating the parties entitled to receive certified copies of this measure; and
(5) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Commerce and Consumer Protection that is attached to this report, your Committee concurs with the intent and purpose of S.R. No. 126, as amended herein, and recommends its adoption in the form attached hereto as S.R. No. 126, S.D. 1.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Commerce and Consumer Protection,
ROSALYN H. BAKER, Chair