A University of Georgia employee and alumnus was in federal court Feb. 6, suing the University System of Georgia and its health insurance provider, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, to get coverage for his gender reassignment surgery.
Skyler Jay (Musgrove) is transgender and has already undergone a mastectomy, which was covered on the popular Netflix series, “Queer Eye.”
Jay and his legal team, Transcend Legal, is citing sex and disability discrimination because Jay’s reassignment surgery is not covered under the University System’s current insurance coverage with Blue Cross Blue Shield.
They say he was denied healthcare under an exclusion for transgender-related healthcare.
It’s the difference in lifesaving,” Jay said.
He said the transition helped him achieve a better quality of life.
“Prior to starting my hormone replacement therapy, I had a history of bodily and self harm, and I never had control over that. I’ve always wanted to have control and hormones gave me that. Without hormones, I would not be here standing today,” Jay said.
Jay’s attorney said these healthcare restrictions only further stigmatize the transgender community.
“There’s no legitimate basis to exclude transgender-related healthcare from health insurance plans. To have exclusions signals that transgender people are not welcome and that transgender people are not valued and treated as equals,” said Noah Lewis, executive director of Transcend Legal.
Grady Newsource reached out to Blue Cross, but they did not provide a statement on the active lawsuit.
The case is moving forward and the University has the opportunity to settle the case outside of court before the judge reaches a final ruling.
Donovan Harris is a senior majoring in journalism.