Trans doctor says insurance companies discriminated against her, nearly causing her to lose her clinic
SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - A Shreveport doctor says she’s facing discrimination from insurance companies because she’s a trans woman.
Dr. Tiffany Najberg says this alleged discrimination has nearly caused her to lose her urgent care clinic, UrgentEMS. However, after getting some help through social media, changes are being made.
“I didn’t even know if I’d have a bed to sleep in, let alone have a business to operate,” Dr. Najberg said.
It’s a nightmare that’s now coming to an end for this doctor.
“It was a dark time,” the doctor said.
Dr. Najberg says three insurance companies, Humana, Cigna, and Aetna, refused to pay out claims unless they were filed under the doctor’s previous name, or “dead name,” and withheld nearly $200,000 in insurance payments from her clinic, almost forcing it to close down.
“It felt quite awful. It made me feel like I didn’t exist,” Dr. Najberg said. “I had to cover that in my life savings. You know, that broke me out.”
Although her name has been legally changed for more than a year now, Dr. Najberg says the insurance companies discriminated against her.
“When you do things like refer to somebody like that, their name is called, is a dead name, you know, and you continuously call them by the wrong pronouns, the thing is those kind of things are incredibly hurtful. They literally erase your identity,” said Dr. Najberg.
The insurance companies didn’t change her name until she created an online petition that gained more than 12,000 signatures.
“It worked and we won and now we can actually keep treating our patients,” she said.
Her message to the three insurance companies: “Respect us as people and this whole problem wouldn’t have happened.”
Those insurance companies have now fixed her name and will be reimbursing her.
“I’m really glad that it’s over,” she said.
Dr. Najberg says she’s looking forward to continuing to help her patients, who primarily are a part of the LGBTQ+ community.
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