Governor Wolf Applauds PA Insurance Commissioner for Issuing Non-Discrimination Guidance to Insurers, Prohibiting Discrimination on Basis of Sex, Sexual Orientation, and Gender Identity

first_img Equality,  Non-discrimination Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today applauded Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller for announcing new Insurance Department expectations for non-discrimination provisions in health insurance policies, including language prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity. This guidance, submitted for publication in the April 30 edition of the Pennsylvania Bulletin, will apply to all health insurance plans regulated by the Pennsylvania Insurance Department, which includes individual and group policies purchased through the federal marketplace.“I am proud of this move by Commissioner Miller,” said Governor Wolf. “We need to ensure that Pennsylvania is a welcoming place, regardless of the color of your skin, your gender, the religion you profess, or the person you love. Next, I am excited to work with Democrats and Republicans in the legislature to pass a statewide non-discrimination bill that protects all Pennsylvanians and makes it clear to the world that Pennsylvania is a welcoming place for everyone.”“Governor Wolf recently announced that the commonwealth’s policy is to treat all Pennsylvanians with the respect and dignity they deserve, regardless of race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender, or gender identity and expression,“ Commissioner Miller said. “My department is also committed to doing all it can protect the consumers we serve, and we expect health insurance companies to join in this effort.”This guidance does not require insurers to cover any particular services that they are not otherwise required to cover. However, under this guidance, health insurance policies under the jurisdiction of the Pennsylvania Insurance Department will not exclude services based on gender identity and will provide coverage for medically necessary covered services regardless of a policyholder’s gender identity.In addition, health insurance policies will not contain a blanket exclusion of coverage for health services related to an individual’s gender transition.Commissioner Miller said that her department expects health insurers to include language within policies that specifically details these protections in order to maintain compliance with state and federal laws.“Denying coverage for medically necessary covered services on the basis of gender violates federal regulations and Governor Wolf’s policy for Pennsylvania, and my department will not tolerate discrimination in the policies that it regulates,” said Commissioner Miller.The policy is consistent with Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, as explained in a proposed rule issued on September 8, 2015 by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights. That proposed rule delineated non-discrimination protections on the basis of sex to include sex stereotyping, gender identity, and sexual orientation.Health insurance providers around Pennsylvania vocalized support for non-discrimination provisions.“We have a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion and have been recognized regionally and nationally for our responsible actions. Across the state, we serve a very diverse population and believe our employees, policies and actions need to reflect the very communities that we serve,” said Highmark Health Plan President Deborah Rice-Johnson. “We currently provide coverage for health services related to gender transition to our workforce and to likeminded large employer insured groups across the state who choose these benefits and who are committed to supporting the diverse needs of their employees.”“UPMC Health Plan has been a proud and vocal advocate of diversity and of the fair and equal treatment of all persons, including through our support of the Pennsylvania Fairness Act. We are currently reviewing the Non-Discrimination Notice and will work with the Department to fully understand its scope, objective and practical impact,” said a representative from UPMC Health Plan. “We are committed to ensuring that all of our members, regardless of their sex, gender identity, or recorded gender are treated fairly and have access to the high-quality health care services they have come to expect from UPMC.”The notice will be available in the April 30 issue of the PA Bulletin and can be viewed online at Insurance companies that have questions regarding this notice should contact the Insurance Department’s Bureau of Life, Accident, & Health, Office of Insurance Product Regulation at [email protected] who have questions regarding whether their health insurance policy is affected by these guidelines are encouraged to contact the department’s Bureau of Consumer Services at 1-877-881-6388 or online at # #Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: April 27, 2016 Governor Wolf Applauds PA Insurance Commissioner for Issuing Non-Discrimination Guidance to Insurers, Prohibiting Discrimination on Basis of Sex, Sexual Orientation, and Gender Identitycenter_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

Freshman Halis brings excitement to young Orange

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on September 4, 2013 at 12:13 am Contact Josh: [email protected] Take even a slight glance at the Syracuse roster and one thing is immediately noticeable: no seniors. Instead, SU has relied on, and will rely on, a bevy of underclassmen in its first year in the tough Atlantic Coast Conference.Four freshmen have started in each of No. 17 Syracuse’s (2-0-0) two games this season, including Alex Halis, a shifty forward from Brampton, Ontario. The freshman has not only made an impression by scoring goals and dishing out assists, but he’s also brought excitement with an array of nifty moves and creative touches.“He’s a quality player,” SU head coach Ian McIntyre said. “He’s an exciting player. He’s a player that can make things happen and he can get people off their seats.”During Monday night’s home opener against Hartwick, Halis promptly introduced himself to the Colvin Street Elite, the group of student fans that sits near the net on East Colvin Street. The forward sped by defenders, put on the breaks and scanned the field. He also mixed in a few backward heel passes.Halis even made Hartwick senior midfielder Tim Crawford fall. The freshman Halis had possession just feet from the near sideline. His head and eyes went left, and so did Crawford. Halis’ body and the ball went right. The crowd “oohed” and “aahed.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAs Halis goes, McIntyre said, so does Syracuse.“That’s a good feeling,” Halis said. “It gives you confidence. But to me I feel like if everyone plays good, then it’s better for us. I don’t think it should be one player.”In both of SU’s games, Halis played a role in the team’s first goal. In SU’s season opener against Colgate – Halis’ collegiate debut – he headed in a ball from Jordan Murrell to give the Orange a 1-0 lead. Against Hartwick, Halis picked up an assist on Grant Chong’s goal early in the second half.McIntyre called Halis “cutting edge,” comparing him to Nick Perea, Stefanos Stamoulacatos and Emil Ekblom. McIntyre recruits the best players he can, but also the ones that fit his possession style that focuses on precision passing, ball control and creativity.Halis fits the mold. At 5 feet 9 inches tall, Halis can use his size to elude bigger defenders and his speed to get around them.In Canada, Halis led the St. Edmund Campion Bears to two straight OFSAA championships and an undefeated 33-0-1 season in 2012. He is also a member of the Canadian Youth National Program and represented Canada at the 2011 U-17 World Cup.“We’ve been playing together since we were just little kids,” said SU forward Chris Nanco, who played with Halis with St. Edmund Campion and FC Sigma. “We’ve always been together. We’ve created a bond since a young age and it’s a good thing to continue our careers together.”The connection between the two starters is one reason why the Orange has collected favorable results so far this season.In order to keep his personal success rolling, Halis said he has to stay positive and work hard.“He has that little bit of something different,” McIntyre said. “And it won’t always come off. That’s the nature of when you express yourself and when you try some things. But when it does come off, he’s an exciting player to watch.” Commentslast_img read more