Insurers may not be saving themselves a lot of money when theydeny claims for transgender surgery and other care related togender identity.

A survey of 355 transgender-identified people conducted byTrueChild, a transgender rights advocacy group, found that thereare many costs associated with denying people the care they haverequested.

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For starters, those who are denied gender-related surgery oftenseek out alternative medical services to cope with thedisappointment and depression from the rejection. Thirty-fivepercent of respondents reported seeking psychotherapy as a resultof having a gender-related care request denied.

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Many of those who don't seek out psychiatric professionals copein more destructive ways. The survey found that 37 percent reportedturning to drugs and/or alcohol after a rejection and 36 percentreported other physical symptoms as a result of depression. Ashocking 15 percent of respondents reported attemptingsuicide.

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Not only might it cost private insurers more money to denygender-related care, but the study suggests it causes a strain onpublic finances. The poll found that 23 percent of respondentsbecame unemployed after having a claim denied and 14 percent becamehomeless.

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"Insurers and policy-makers have had an antiquated list ofexclusions written that have not evolved over several decades,"said John Hodson, president of True-Benefit, which commissioned thereport from TrueChild. "Indeed, the thought was that denying carefor transgender medical care saved money for policy holders. Thisreport shows that's not true."

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The survey is being released in the midst of proposed rules bythe Obama administration to bar health care providers from denying certaingender-related care.

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