Friday, May 30, 2014

Medicare Ban on Sex-Reassignment Surgery Lifted

This is huge, because private insurance companies and Medicaid programs take their cues from what the U.S. government decides is medically necessary.

Via AP:
Medicare can no longer automatically deny coverage requests for sex reassignment surgeries, a federal board ruled Friday in a groundbreaking decision that recognizes the procedures are medically necessary for people who don't identify with their biological sex. Ruling in favor of a 74-year-old transgender Army veteran whose request to have Medicare pay for her genital reconstruction was denied two years ago, the agency's Departmental Appeals Board said there was no justification for a three-decade-old HHS rule excluding such surgeries from procedures covered by the national health program for the elderly and disabled. Jennifer Levi, a lawyer who directs the Transgender Rights Project of Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders in Boston, said the ruling doesn't mean Medicare recipients are necessarily entitled to have sex-reassignment surgery paid for by the government. Instead, the lifting of the coverage ban means they now will be able to seek authorization by submitting documentation from a doctor and mental health professionals stating that surgery is recommended in their individual case, Ms. Levi said.
Read HERE.

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