NY State Considers Medicaid Coverage For Trans Health Care

I would probably hazard a guess that if New York transpeople had their way, they would rather have GENDA as the law of the land in New York State, but if this goes through, we trans people may have a reason to hold up ‘Thank You Governor Cuomo’ signs like the GL community did recently in the near future.

It’ll also be a nice win and something that will benefit trans New Yorkers until the long overdue GENDA law is finally passed.

What I’m talking about is the proposal in New York to “Provide Medicaid coverage for transgender surgery/hormone replacement therapy and treatment.”  

The panel advising Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) on ways to revamp Medicaid has proposed that the program cover surgery and therapy for transgender New Yorkers.   It was a task force convened earlier this year by Gov. Cuomo to overhaul New York’s Medicaid system that paid out $53 billion for medical benefits while cutting costs.  

A panel of medical health care professionals are examining disparities in coverage and will decide next week where the transgender healthcare proposal fits on the list of priorities for the revamped system.   It’s just one of the many issues that the panel is pondering  including better data collection, diabetes prevention, low income immigrant health care, and contraception for women of reproductive age.

Back in the early 80’s Medicaid systems used to cover transgender care until Janice Raymond’s infamous 1980 paper led to the phasing out of that practice and the beginning of trans medical care prohibitions in medical insurance coverage


The American Medical Association supports the proposed change, and the California and Minnesota Medicaid systems already provide coverage for hormone therapy and transgender surgery.  

Ross Levi, executive director of the Empire State Pride Agenda supports it as well. “The reason the AMA said this is medically necessary is if the
transgender can’t get services they need to live in the gender they are
it leads to depression, suicide attempts, substance abuse,” said Levi.. The cost would be a tiny part
of the Medicaid budget, a fraction of a percent, and overall could
provide a net cost savings, he said.

The change in Medicaid policy could affect thousands of trans New Yorkers and help cut Medicaid costs for their mental health and drug abuse treatment..

Before you trans New Yorkers start celebrating, you may wish to start planning lobbying trips to Albany.

The proposed changes even if favorably recommended  and adopted by the governor and placed in his 2012  budget still needs to go through the legislative process before they can take effect.  

So hint, hint time for y’all to prepare to be agents of your own liberation, and hope and pray it happens for y’all. . Lord knows it would help equalize the trans playing field for low income transpeople.

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