BOSTON, Mass.—This afternoon, the Patrick Administration announced that it will remove barriers to health care coverage for transgender people in both private insurance and in public programs.
“This announcement is truly historic,” said Jennifer Levi, director of the Transgender Rights Project at Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD). “This removes all legal barriers in Massachusetts to access to health care for transgender people, and affirms the overwhelming medical consensus that gender reassignment surgery and other related procedures are essential health care services. Massachusetts is a leader in providing health care to transgender people, and should be a model for other states.”
The announcement follows closely last week’s move by Medicare removing a categorical exclusion of gender reassignment surgery from its coverage, after advocacy by GLAD, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights. It comes within weeks after GLAD filed a MassHealth claim on behalf of Rikki Bates, and builds on the foundation established by GLAD’s victory in the case O’Donnabhain v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, a national decision that the IRS cannot deny a tax deduction for medical expenses related to gender reassignment surgery.
Through strategic litigation, public policy advocacy and education, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders works in New England and nationally to create a just society free of discrimination based on gender identity and expression, HIV status and sexual orientation.
[From a News Release]
Finally a state stands up and stops the insult. Kaiser, the VA and most insurance plans have insulted our intelligence for far too long. They prescribe anti-androgens to shut down the testicles but then turn around and won’t remove them….claiming that they are “cosmetic”. Bunk.