Lately here in Cyrsti’s Condo, we have been discussing a few of the ramifications of life insurance and to a differing degree, changing your legal gender markers.
Here in Ohio, it was not too difficult or expensive to change my legal name, gender on my driver’s license, my name/gender in my Veterans Administration paperwork and my name on my social security card. (not my gender) Also, I still cannot change my birth certificate gender here in Ohio.
It turns out, not being able to change my Social Security gender at the moment turned out to be a good thing after I heard this from Connie:
“When I applied for Social Security and Medicare, I did so in person with the proper documentation with my legal name change. I did not, however, change my gender marker, as I felt it wasn’t worth opening that can of worms. I guess I should have been more aware, though, because the person on the other side of the glass partition checked off the Female box for me. It ended up being a pain in the ass to get it changed back when I later had trouble getting Medicare to pay on a doctor bill. Health insurance considers the differences in male and female rates, as well as does life insurance (or did, then).
Social Security tried to blame me for the “mistake,” even though it would have required a specific application and documentation from me to make that change – which, of course, I did not provide, and they could not have had on file). Maybe I was just passing so well to the woman that day, I don’t know. Sometimes, though, there are more important things than passing.
It behooves us to be diligent as we make changes throughout transitioning. In the case of life insurance, we won’t be around to clean up any messes that our beneficiaries may be left to endure.”
I guess it was obvious to the guy at Social Security that I didn’t “pass” or then again, I don’t remember if I “outed” myself by telling him I was transgender. It was five years ago now and on some days, I have a difficult time remembering last week. I just remember him saying he could change my name, not my gender.
Of course too, I am under a different health system with Veteran’s Administration health. Under which if I ever experience problems with being transgender, there is a person/persons to call.
So once again, there are many steps to consider when you are considering changing your legal gender markers.