I don’t normally post every back-and-forth in my attempts to shake things loose from the bureaucracy (as there are many and they are generally boring). However, it has been 68 days since I submitted a FOIA request to OPM requesting the responses to Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB) Program Carrier Letter 2014-17 (which announced that OPM would continue to discriminate on the basis of gender identity at the behest of insurers) in order to get a sense of how many insurers would actually be offering trans-inclusive health insurance in plan year 2015. To date, OPM has failed to respond to the FOIA request, including not even acknowledging receipt.
Since they’ve decided to stonewall, I’ve decided to escalate. First, I’ve now included the Office of Civil Rights at my employing agency, since OPM is continuing to discriminate against all transgender Federal employees, myself included.
Second, in the coming days, I will be referring the matter to my Senator, Sen. Tim Kaine, because letters from the Hill tend to actually force responses loose from Federal agencies. The letter will also address the complete lack of response OPM has had to my Petition for Reconsideration, filed back in August, to their “nondiscrimination” rule that still allows discrimination against transgender Federal employees through FEHB.
By the time I receive a response, it may well be “open season,” the period of the year when insurers plans for the next year are posted online for anyone to review any plan. However, I nonetheless hope OPM responds, as manually culling through volume after volume of plan brochures to find which are discriminating and which are not is a heap of unnecessary work given that OPM requested (and presumably received) a simple list of which insurers are which.