Illinois’ Medicaid program intends to start covering gender reassignment surgery as early as this summer, the state announced Friday afternoon.
Medicaid members age 21 and older who are diagnosed with gender dysphoria would be eligible for genital and breast-related surgery, under proposed rules from the Department of Healthcare and Family Services. Medicaid is a state and federally funded health insurance program that serves many poor and disabled Illinois residents.
About 1,400 Illinois residents on Medicaid have been diagnosed with gender dysphoria, according to the department.
“Healthcare is a right, not a privilege, and I’m committed to ensuring our LGBTQ community and all Illinoisans have access to that right,” said Gov. J.B. Pritzker, in a news release. “Expanding Medicaid to cover gender affirming surgeries is cost effective, helps avoid long term health consequences, and most importantly is the right thing to do.
Seventeen states, and the District of Columbia, also cover the surgeries as part of their Medicaid programs, according to the department.
Last month, the Iowa Supreme Court upheld a lower court’s ruling saying that the state could not deny two transgender women Medicaid coverage for sex reassignment surgery.
The Illinois department has started working on administrative rules to offer the coverage, and a public comment period will be held. Coverage will be available after the adoption of the rules, which could come this summer, according to the department.
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April 5, 2019 at 06:18PM