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CVS opposes rule that reduces health care protections for transgender people

June 24, 2020 | Public Policy

Last week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services finalized a rule that reduces anti-discrimination protections in health care for transgender people.

The rule changed the previous definition for covered health care entities of “[discrimination] on the basis of sex” so that the definition no longer includes gender identity. CVS Health opposed this change when it was proposed in May 2019 and does not plan to change coverage policies to scale back anything based on the new rule.

“We are proud of our long-standing commitment to eliminating discrimination in health care and health care coverage, including our commitment to support the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities,” says Karen S. Lynch, President, Aetna Business Unit and Executive Vice President, CVS Health. “That commitment isn’t changing; it is a part of our culture and explicit in our corporate policies.”

CVS Health remains committed to being an inclusive employer and health care company. The company does not intend to change its corporate nondiscrimination policy, which states, in part:


CVS Health is committed to the principle of equal employment opportunity and takes affirmative action to recruit, hire, employ, develop, compensate, promote and advance in employment based on an individual’s job-related qualifications, abilities, and job performance. In addition, CVS Health prohibits discrimination, sexual harassment, and/or harassment against persons on the basis of ancestry, race, ethnicity, color, religion, sex/gender (including pregnancy), national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, physical or mental disability, medical condition, age, veteran status, military status, marital status, genetic information, citizenship status, unemployment status, political affiliation, or on any other basis or characteristic prohibited by applicable federal, state or local law. Finally, CVS Health prohibits retaliation against a colleague for filing or pursuing a bona fide prohibited discrimination or harassment claim or for participating in good faith in an investigation of a prohibited discrimination or harassment claim.


About CVS Health

CVS Health employees are united around a common goal of becoming the most consumer-centric health company. We're evolving based on changing consumer needs and meeting people where they are, whether that's in the community at one of our nearly 10,000 local touchpoints, in the home, or in the palm of their hand. Our newest offerings – from HealthHUB® locations that are redefining what a pharmacy can be, to innovative programs that help manage chronic conditions – are designed to create a higher-quality, simpler and more affordable experience. Learn more about how we're transforming health at

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Jeff Swallow