Transgender nurse sues over denied insurance claim

Transgender nurse Josef Robinson works at Chandler Regional Medical Center. He's suing Dignity Health for denying coverage of his gender transition treatments.

"They're denying me health care coverage with anything related to transgender care, meaning hormone therapy and surgery," said Josef Robinson.

According to Robinson, Dignity Health refused to cover Josef's $8,000 double mastectomy as well as $100,000 in other transition surgeries. He says they claim that he has a personality disorder which is excluded from coverage.

"They are lumping being transgender in with all other kinds of mental illness, and that is not the case. Being transgender is not a mental illness," said Steve Kilar with the ACLU.

Kilar is a spokesperson for the ACLU. The group filed a complaint against Dignity Health in federal court claiming sexual discrimination. Josef's fiancee Melissa tried resolving the issue with Dignity before the lawsuit.

"Everything that I've needed to have covered has been covered, and so to find out that he's unable to get the surgery that he needs is very disheartening," said Melissa Mayo.

In a statement to FOX 10 the healthcare company says "We have not received the lawsuit in question and it is not our policy to comment on pending litigation."

"Well I would just like to have healthcare coverage like the rest of my coworkers have, and I don't have that," said Robinson.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and a court order requiring insurance coverage.