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Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler sent a letter to health-insurance companies on Wednesday reminding them of laws that protect people from being discriminated against based on gender identity.

Kreidler told the insurers they are not required to cover sexual-reassignment surgery, but they do have to give transgender people the same access to health care as everyone else.

Services covered for others — hormone therapy or breast reconstruction, for example — must be covered for transgender people as well.

He notes that many Washington employers have already taken action to prevent discrimination against transgender people on their payrolls. Medicare recently lifted a ban on coverage for sex reassignment.

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Kreidler says his office is reviewing all 2015 individual and small-employer health plans to look for discriminatory exclusions.

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