Rising Malpractice Premiums Pose Barrier to Gender-Affirming Care for Minors at Small Clinics

Moline, Illinois – After the passing of a ban on gender-affirming care for minors in Iowa, a clinic in Moline, Illinois, has stepped in to offer these essential services to patients in need. The Project of the Quad Cities, a local LGBTQ+ health clinic, has hired a specialist in transgender healthcare in an effort to provide care to patients from rural eastern Iowa who previously had to travel long distances for treatment.

This move comes in response to the increasing number of states enacting bans on gender-affirming care for transgender youth, forcing clinics in neighboring states to step up and fill the void. However, one of the main challenges in offering these services is obtaining malpractice insurance, as many insurers have declined to provide coverage for clinics offering gender-affirming care for minors.

The struggle to secure malpractice insurance is hindering the ability of independent clinics and medical practices to offer vital care for transgender youth. For those clinics that do manage to obtain coverage, the cost is prohibitively high, making it difficult to sustain operations.

The issue has prompted some states to pass laws preventing malpractice insurers from discriminating against providers offering gender-affirming care. Massachusetts was the first state to enact such legislation, with several others following suit to ensure equal access to healthcare for transgender individuals.

However, despite these efforts, some states have gone as far as revising malpractice provisions to restrict access to gender-affirming care, creating significant legal and financial barriers for clinics and medical practices.

In many cases, these challenges have forced clinics to cease offering certain treatments, impacting the ability of transgender youth to access necessary healthcare. The legal landscape surrounding gender-affirming care for minors continues to evolve, with ongoing efforts by some states to further restrict access to these critical services.

The struggle to navigate insurance challenges and legal barriers is not only affecting clinics in Iowa and Illinois but is being felt across the country. As the fight for equal access to gender-affirming care for minors continues, clinics like The Project of the Quad Cities are left grappling with the financial burden of providing these crucial services.