New York is set to become the fifth state to provide gender reassignment surgery and hormone treatments through Medicaid under proposed regulations from Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
The change — which the public can comment on through Feb. 2 — would cost the state $6.7 million, according to the proposed regulations.
Under the proposal, the Medicaid program would provide the surgery and treatment if such treatment was referred by a medical professional. Medicaid is the government health care program for the poor and disabled. In New York, federal, state and county taxes fund the overall program. No county tax money would pay for these proposed treatments, according to state documents.
“New York has always been a progressive leader and ensuring that all New Yorkers – regardless of gender identity – are treated fairly will continue this legacy,” Cuomo said today in a news release. “This new regulation will guarantee transgender New Yorkers access to Medicaid-funded care, which is critical to safeguarding the principle of equal treatment. I am proud that the state is taking this step and continuing to lead the fight on transgender rights.”
The expansion of public benefits comes a week after New York began requiring private health insurance companies to cover transgender health care. Earlier this year, New York revised its birth certificate policy; now, a transgender person under treatment can get a new birth certificate.
Gender dysphoria is the diagnosis given to people whose gender at birth is contrary to the one they identify with and who experience clinically significant distress as a result, according to the state’s proposal.