Federal judge says trans woman’s health insurer flagrantly violated its duty to the insured

Christine Radtke

THE GUERRILLA ANGEL REPORT — Christine Radtke legally transitioned to a female several years prior to her marriage to her husband Calvin Radtke. After their marriage, the couple enrolled in Calvin’s employer’s health plan. Somewhere along the line, the administrators of the health plan discovered that Christine underwent sex reassignment surgery (SRS) in the past and decided that their marriage did not conform to Minnesota law. They cancelled her coverage and demanded a retroactive repayment of $80,000.

The couple sued and the insurers counter-sued claiming Christine fraudulently represented being a woman. Recently however, a judge ruled for Radtke and gave the insurers a bit of a scolding.

U.S. District Court Judge Michael Davis said that, under Minnesota law, a married individual’s sex is determined at the time he or she is married. In his opinion, Davis wrote that the health fund had “ignored all evidence” concerning Minnesota law about the issue, and said its treatment of the plaintiff “was a flagrant violation of its duty under any standard of review.” — From The New American.

More from Judge Davis: “There is no law in Minnesota that prohibits recognition by the state of a person’s changed sex. Minnesota is among 43 jurisdictions, including Wisconsin, that permit individuals who have undergone sex reassignment surgery to change their birth records to recognize change of sex.”

Some are noting that this ruling is going against a trend to invalidate marriages when it comes to transgender health benefits — the Texas firefighter case comes to mind. However, I am not sure the people commenting on this “trend” are in a position to know the specifics in the cases involved and are able to accurately state the facts.

This is a good win and nice legal precedent for trans people.

As for the source, keep in mind it’s somewhat biased against trans people and naturally all gender references are incorrect and I’m pretty sure they’re not all happy with Judge Davis’ ruling.

Transgender Man Eligible for Health Insurance of “Husband”.

U.S. District Court Judge Michael Davis


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Categories: Discrimination, Equality, Civil Rights, Transgender, Transsexual, Trans

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4 replies

  1. As a past resident of Minnesota for over 20 yrs I am proud of this federal judge, Minnesota is usually very accepting and liberal and its so nice to see the Federal court support our community. Its clear that the only issue for the insurance company was ” financial ” not compliance with state laws, that smoke screen was seen very clearly. I am also very proud of the Radtkes ! they put their money and respect on the line also and are winners. I just don’t understand this hate/contempt for us, I guess I never will understand ” hate ” and in many ways I hope I never do !

  2. The judge’s ruling was strongly worded in another way:

    “The Fund’s role was to ascertain Minnesota law,. It was not the Fund’s role to impose its own definitions of gender and marriage upon its participants. In this case, the Fund ignored all evidence of the State of Minnesota’s view of Plaintiff’s sex and marital status. The Fund’s decision was not only wrong … it was a flagrant violation of its duty under any standard of review.” Michael J. Davis, presiding

    And now on the negative side (potentially):

    “While the case was pending, the Fund actually amended its definition of eligibility to explicitly state that in deciding whether a marriage is between a man and a woman, it will recognize only “the anatomical sex of the individual at the time of birth.” Really? The Fund has an independent stake in the resolution of this issue? This is truly an outrage. The Court in this case was not in a position to address the validity of this definition because the Fund had yet to apply it to Christine (and might not). But it might be a matter of time before another individual faces this rule.”
    –Nancy Polikoff, Beyond (Straight and Gay) Marriage

    So this Insurance Fund has decided to enact a rule that let’s it make the determination of what sex someone is, at least for their purposes, thus forcing trans-people to be dual-sexed in society, i.e. one sex for one thing….and another sex for something else. Sick, sick..SICK!!

    The good thought is if they try to apply this new rule to this woman, or to another insurance member, and get the same judge I kinda of think he will not too kindly tell them to shove their “sex definition” up their asse. At least in Minn and with this judge. But just the idea of other organizations interferring with one’s legal sex (especially when have a new birth certificate issued) is upsetting and exceeds any reasonable level of “invasion of privacy.


  3. Isn’t this a HIPAA violation?

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