Aetna will be the first health insurance company to link its online database of medical providers to a directory maintained by the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association, which lists primary care doctors, specialists, therapists, and dentists who welcome lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender patients. "Aetna and the GLMA share a similar goal of eliminating disparities in health care, including unequal access," says Troyen Brennan, MD, chief medical officer for Aetna.
Joel Ginsberg, executive director of the GLMA, hopes to see other insurance companies follow Aetna's lead by linking to its 1,200-provider database. Aetna's announcement comes after the California Supreme Court in August ruled against an ob/gyn who, citing religious objections, refused to perform a medical insemination procedure on a lesbian. The court found the doctor in violation of the state's civil rights laws.