Expanding gender data collection

By Regence
February 10, 2020

In 2017, Oregon became the first state to allow a third gender, represented as “X”, on state identification. Other states have followed suit and allow residents to update their identity on driver’s licenses and birth certificates.

As more states add a third gender, we are receiving inquiries about how we support our health plan members represented by X on their state documents.

Unfortunately, the complexity of the health care system currently doesn’t have a uniform and accurate way to capture gender information, sometimes creating a disruptive member experience.

For example, current Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations require us to follow the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) file format that currently does not allow for X. Other forms used by medical providers and employers may or may not allow for a third gender option.

We are evaluating this issue and reaching out to our industry partners to help advance a uniform third gender among providers, payers and other entities so that data flows seamlessly throughout the system and members/patients can get the care they need.

At Regence, we want all our members to feel supported and remain committed to creating the best experience we can in their interactions with us.