Proposed NY rule would have sex-change surgery covered under Medicaid

A proposed rule from the New York State Department of Health could cover treatments for gender dysphoria, including sex reassignment surgery and hormone therapy, under the state's Medicaid program, according to a published report.

Capital New York reported that the program would cover hormone therapy and surgery for those 18 years of age and older and for people who have been living for at least a year in a gender role that is "congruent" with their gender identity.

The rule would make New York the fifth state to allow its Medicaid program to pay for such therapies.

The proposed rule, which would not cover the reversal of prior surgeries and some cosmetic procedures, was posted one week after Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that the state's private insurance companies will no longer be allowed to deny coverage for transgender New Yorkers.

If approved, the rule is expected to cost the state $6.7 million, a figure based on the number of Medicaid recipients now receiving mental health services for gender dysphoria -- 661 people -- and then estimating how many of those would seek some sort of therapy, Capital New York reported.

The new regulation is subject to a 45-day comment period, after which the agency can adopt it as a final rule.

Click here to read more from Capital New York.