- March 20, 2015
After a 17-year ban, New Yorkers will finally be able to access transgender-related healthcare under Medicaid.
Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF) explained, “The new regulation, which formally took effect on March 11, eliminates a 1998 regulation which stated that coverage ‘is not available for care, services, drugs, or supplies rendered for the purpose of gender reassignment….’”
Coverage for transgender-related healthcare under Medicaid, a health insurance program for low-income Americans, varies state-by-state. Many states continue to have statutory or regulatory prohibitions that prevent transgender people from accessing appropriate, medically-necessary care.
“Transgender individuals, in particular, depend on access to transition-related healthcare,” HRC Senior Legislative Counsel Alison Gill wrote. “Professional medical and mental health organizations such as the American Medical Association and the American Psychological Association have long supported access to appropriate and affirming care for transgender people. Without such care, transgender people are at heightened risk for depression, anxiety, and suicide.“
While we continue to see unfair exclusions in plans that target transgender people, this change provides enormous opportunities for the transgender community to receive transgender-related health coverage for the first time, or to get better, cheaper coverage.
HRC applauds the New York State Department of Health for taking this crucial step.
Learn more about the change from TLDEF here.