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District of Columbia

D.C. mayor announces health coverage requirements for transgender citizens

Thursday, February 27, 2014
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District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray on Thursday announced that public and private health insurance plans that the D.C. government regulates — including Medicaid, D.C. government employee insurance, and private plans sold on D.C.’s health exchange — will be required to cover transition-related care.

Vincent Gray

Vincent Gray

Gray says the new rules will end health-care discrimination against the transgender population and put “the district at the forefront of advancing the rights of transgender individuals.”

A bulletin issued Thursday by the city’s Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking says that gender dysphoria is a recognized medical condition. It says the various forms of treatment for that condition, including gender reassignment surgery, are covered benefits.

Gray says people with gender dysphoria, also known as gender identity disorder, “should not have to pay exorbitant out-of-pocket expenses for medically necessary treatment.”

The announcement makes D.C. healthcare coverage the most comprehensive plans for transgender Americans in the U.S.

“This victory reaffirms growing agreement among advocates and the medical community that D.C.’s healthcare nondiscrimination laws require that insurance cover medically necessary transgender healthcare,” said Andy Bowen, Policy Associate for the National Center for Transgender Equality.

The announcement follows similar policies in California, Oregon, Vermont, Colorado, and Connecticut.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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