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I need CVS to update their gender options


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So I was trying to get my birth control the other day and the people at CVS told me they couldn't process my refill because my gender was "unidentified" in their system and apparently "F" is the only code that allows them to cover birth control. 


I had to call my pharmacy provider (OptumRx), who said I had to call my insurance company (United Healthcare), who told me they would "take care of it." When I asked if they could do that without putting "F" as my gender in the system they said "yes."


When I went to pick up my prescription, they said the problem was still there and that they could fix it on their end simply by putting "F" into the system. I asked them if there was any other way to fix it but they said "no." 


Every system needs to be updated with "gender that I am" and "sex assigned at birth." Or more simply, "this patient has a vagina and needs birth control covered, period." 


I was also having trouble getting my school to list me as the correct gender and we've been emailing back and forth for a few months. I had to get the diversity and equity office involved. Apparently having an "X" as gender isn't possible for their system since they use it for "Federal Reporting Purposes." There is a simple solution to this - have two genders (one that's used just for "federal reporting" and one that is used for literally everything else). I told them this but it's too complicated for them. 


Anyway rant over, but there are more than 2 genders and all places that only give M/F as an option suck. Including the US Census. 

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Jackie C.

Probably too complicated for their coders. I mean have you USED the CVS system? Chewing through their site is it's own circle of hell. I bet it's a million lines of spaghetti code that hasn't been overhauled since the 70's.


Not to invalidate your concern though, you're absolutely right. I honestly couldn't tell you if they ever changed my marker from M to F.



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Oh, my blood pressure rose just seeing this topic title, as I've had the same battle with CVS! Apparently they're not interested in acknowledging that non-binary people exist....unlike the Massachusetts Dept. of Motor Vehicles, which issued my X-identified drivers license with a smile in 2018.



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Woah, cool - I didn't know Massachusetts allowed people to put X's on their licenses that far back! I knew in some states it wasn't really a thing but some people would do it anyway. Last January Connecticut officially changed the rules so anyone can put "M, F, or X" on their license without a doctor's note. I'm glad my legal name and gender are now on my license - it makes life much less stressful. On the other hand, I have refused to give my school access to my license so that they can change my gender in the system because I want them to be able to do that for students who may not have an updated license. Also I know for a fact that if the student were cisgender and had an accidental gender in their system, they would just change it without asking for ID. I've basically threatened to sue them for discrimination but I'm waiting until next semester for them to sort it out before I actually get lawyers involved. They say it'll be an option soon but we'll see what that means.

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As a follow-up to the CVS situation...they additionally changed my estradiol patches to weekly from twice-weekly without consulting with my doctor or informing me (and as a result, these weekly patches too-readily stopped adhering to my skin and fell off). Finally, it dawned on me that my gender clinic in Boston might just be able to handle my prescription in a more professional way.  They did, and they also are charging significantly less.  I am so happy I moved my prescription over last September!  Like, duh, I shoulda done in a lot sooner, or from the beginning 🙄.  Sometimes I can be such a slow learner!





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@Astrid I use Fenway Pharmacy for my patches.  They are very easy to use and I found that if I went through my insurance it was a hassle.  Fenway cannot ship out of state so I do have to pick them up myself.  I used to have them delivered to my son's house but they've moved.  It's a once a month drive to Boston which is fine for me.  Prior to Covid I would get lunch and walk around a bit.  Hopefully this summer I can get back to that. 

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1 hour ago, Jani said:

@Astrid I use Fenway Pharmacy for my patches.  They are very easy to use and I found that if I went through my insurance it was a hassle.  Fenway cannot ship out of state so I do have to pick them up myself.  I used to have them delivered to my son's house but they've moved.  It's a once a month drive to Boston which is fine for me.  Prior to Covid I would get lunch and walk around a bit.  Hopefully this summer I can get back to that. 


Yep, fortunately Fenway Pharmacy can mail directly to me, since I'm in Massachusetts. They always answer the phone with a human when I call, always seem on top of any issue or question I have, and are far more pleasant to deal with than CVS.  


Parking is touch-and-go in the Fenway area (in non-Covid times), so I'm thankful that they do mail.  Although it's nice to walk around most parts of Boston every once in a while 😎

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Sadly, us AFAB have to deal with having an "F" in certain places because of healthcare.

I wish it was easier, but they still think that just because we have a vagina then we must be a woman.

This happens a lot when visiting the OBGYN. I dread thinking about going to the doctor after my transition because of this.


I am glad that you were able to find a better solution :)

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Jackie C.
4 hours ago, Ethereal said:

I wish it was easier, but they still think that just because we have a vagina then we must be a woman.


Well, conditionally. I've got a perfectly good vagina but there are places here where I'd still be a man legally (and, if incarcerated, sent to a male prison) because I was AMAB. The people who are going to discriminate always find a reason.



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