Malpractice Premiums Are Blocking Gender-Affirming Care for Minors | TIME

Nearly half the states have banned medication or surgical treatment for transgender youth. Independent clinics and medical practices located in states where such care is either allowed or protected have moved to fill that void for patients commuting or relocating across state lines. But as the risk of litigation rises for clinics, obtaining malpractice insurance on the commercial marketplace has become a quiet barrier to offering care, even in states with legal protections for health care for trans people. In extreme cases, lawmakers have deployed malpractice insurance regulations against gender-affirming care in states where courts have slowed or blocked anti-trans legislation.

Insurance industry advocates argue that higher premiums are justified because the rise in legislation surrounding gender-affirming care for minors means clinics are at increased risk of being sued.

In 2021, Arkansas became the first state to ban gender-affirming care for trans children. When that ban was held up in court this year, the governor signed a new law allowing anyone who received gender-affirming care as a minor to file a malpractice lawsuit up to 15 years after they turn 18.

Similar laws followed in Tennessee, Florida, and Missouri, all extending the statute of limitations on filing a malpractice claim anywhere from 15 to 30 years. (Another was introduced but not passed in Texas that would have stretched the statute of limitations to the length of the patient’s life.) Typically, malpractice suits must be filed within one to three years of injury.

Source: Malpractice Premiums Are Blocking Gender-Affirming Care for Minors | TIME

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