LANSING, Mich., March 18, 2021 – State Rep. Julie M. Rogers (D-Kalamazoo) introduced House Bill 4551 today to prohibit insurance providers from denying insurance coverage based on gender, gender identity or sexual orientation. The bill was introduced with bipartisan support.

“As a health care provider, I have seen firsthand just how important it is to have insurance, particularly health insurance,” said Rogers. “Everyone deserves affordable and quality care. As we continue to navigate the COVID-19 crisis, it is more important than ever to proactively address Michigan’s health care disparities and ensure every resident has access to the care they need, when and where they need it.”

On June 15, 2020, the United States Supreme Court, in Bostock v Clayton County, Georgia, 140 S Ct 1731 (2020), concluded that the term “sex” includes sexual orientation and gender identity and, as such, discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”). House Bill 4551 would provide additional support for the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) to affirm its interpretation of the term “sex” in the statutes and rules it administers to include sexual orientation and gender identity, and therefore prohibit discrimination on those bases.

“Earlier this term, I was proud to co-sponsor legislation to expand Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act,” said Rogers. “Adding sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes to ELCRA would end discrimination for our LGBTQ friends and families once and for all.”