Cleveland Orchestra’s insurance refuses to pay for needed procedures after employee’s gender-affirmation surg - cleveland.com
CLEVELAND, Ohio— Cleveland Orchestra’s health insurance refused to pay for necessary surgeries for an employee who suffered complications from her gender-affirmation surgery, according to a lawsuit filed late Wednesday.
Rem Wransky filed the allegations in federal court in Cleveland against the orchestra and the third-party administrator of its insurance policy, Business Administrators and Consultants Inc. of Reynoldsburg.
The lawsuit accuses both the orchestra and the administrator of discriminating against her on the basis of sex. Wransky is listed on the orchestra’s website as its web developer.
Cleveland.com and The Plain Dealer reached out to a spokesman and spokeswoman for the Cleveland Orchestra, as well as to Wransky’s attorney, Mark Herron, and to Business Administrators and Consultants.
The orchestra hired Wransky in April 2021, about eight months after Wransky underwent gender affirmation surgery, the lawsuit said.
She experienced complications from the surgery, which caused pain and discomfort, and required additional procedures, the lawsuit said.
The orchestra changed its insurance policy on July 1, became self-insured and contracted with the Reynoldsburg firm to be its third-party administrator, according to the lawsuit. It denied Wransky’s request for surgery about two weeks later, saying it was medically unnecessary, and advised Wransky to have her doctors speak with its doctors, according to the document.
The administrator’s physician-reviewer later determined the procedures were necessary, but the company upheld the denial of coverage, the lawsuit said. It did so based on an exclusion in Wransky’s insurance policy for “transsexual surgery or any treatment leading to or in connection with transsexual surgery,” according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and attorney fees. It also seeks a court order declaring the orchestra and the administrator discriminated against Wransky, and it asks a judge to order the orchestra and the company never again discriminate against someone in Wransky’s position.
The case was assigned to U.S. District Judge Pamela Barker.
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