Frequently Asked Questions

Why is a mandatory question about sex assigned at birth asked for in the Washington Healthplanfinder application? How is this information used?

The answer to the “sex assigned at birth”  question is currently used by the Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA) and the Washington Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) to make sure you receive all health benefits you might need, including pregnancy benefits.

A coalition of state agency partners, in partnership with the Washington State LGBTQ Commission, is exploring additional changes to make the application more culturally sensitive.

Why was the question text changed in May 2020 from “sex” to “sex assigned at birth”?

The on-screen language was changed in collaboration with impacted community members and a coalition of state agency partners, to address the needs of individuals with an X designation on their identity documents. These individuals were facing an access barrier when using Washington Healthplanfinder. We worked in partnership with community partners on the language itself, user tested the language with members of impacted communities, and also included additional information at the request of community partners on why this information is collected.

Why are “Male” and “Female” the only answer choices to the question about sex assigned at birth?

A shared goal of the Exchange and our partner agencies is to make the answer choices for this question more inclusive. A cross-agency workgroup is analyzing the changes needed to existing Health Care Authority (HCA) and Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) systems for Gender X to be added.

A coalition of state agency partners, in partnership with the Washington State LGBTQ Commission, is exploring additional changes to make the application more culturally sensitive.

Will the answer to sex assigned at birth be used to match records with social security?

No. Sex assigned at birth is not information that is passed to or used by the Federal Social Security Administration. The Exchange is required by federal law to verify an individual Social Security Number. Discrepancies with federal databases related to First Name and Last Name may result in an individual providing documentation to verify a Social Security Number. This does not occur as a result of an answer to the “Sex-assigned at birth” question.

Will the answer to sex assigned at birth be used for the sex designation with my insurance carrier?

How a carrier uses the answer to the formerly “sex” and current “sex assigned at birth” question has not changed. And, how carriers currently capture information about gender identity varies. The Exchange is working with carriers to further understand what processes they use and other relevant carrier practices and procedures. Once the Exchange learns more, steps to help a customer navigate them will be shared.

Why is there not a question that asks about my gender identity?

A coalition of state agency partners, in partnership with the Washington State LGBTQ Commission, is exploring additional changes to make the application more culturally sensitive.

Additional Resources