Man Who Identifies as Woman Sues Insurance Companies for Not Covering Facial Feminization Surgery

    Updated: August 6, 2019 at 2:36 pm EST  See Comments

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    Photo Credit: Fernando Audibert

    PORTLAND, Ore. — A man in Oregon who identifies as a woman has sued his government employer and its insurance companies for declining to cover facial feminization surgery that would make him appear more female to strangers.

    The 59-year-old man, who goes by the name Christina Ketcham, says that others still refer to him as a man because of his appearance.

    “Ms. Ketcham continues to be perceived by others as male,” the lawsuit states, according to The Oregonian. “Her facial features and the shape of her face frequently lead others to call Ms. Ketcham ‘sir,’ ‘mister’ or ‘he-she,’ and to treat her as a man.”

    Ketcham has already undergone “bottom surgery” and hormone replacement therapy and has worked with a voice coach to sound more female. His doctors claims that obtaining facial surgery is necessary to treat his gender dysphoria.

    The operation could include a facelift, an eyelid lift, rhinoplasty (alteration of the nose), and reduction of his facial bones.

    Ketcham is suing his longtime employer, Clatsop County, as well as Citycounty Insurance Services and Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon for denying coverage for his surgeries from 2016 to present.

    He states that he is being discriminated against as his surgeries have been deemed “not medically necessary,” while the same surgeries are performed for others who have jaw deformities or ingrown eyelashes.

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