This fall the state Department of Health and Human Services will hold a public hearing on a proposed rule change that will allow Medicaid coverage for gender reassignment surgery.
The rule change is prompted by the Affordable Care Act, which prohibits any health care provider that receives federal funds from discriminating on the basis of gender identity. That discrimination would include any limitations on Medicaid coverage for health services related to gender transition.
Supporters argue that there is evidence of a biological basis for a transgender identity, making hormone treatments and sex reassignment necessary medical treatment for some individuals' mental health.
Opponents include Cornerstone, a nonprofit "dedicated to preserving New Hampshire’s traditional values, limited government, and free markets." In an email alert to their followers, Cornerstone put forward several concerns about the rule, including:
- Whether parental consent will be required for a child to receive gender transition services
- Whether individual medical professionals will be protected if they refuse to participate in gender transition services
- Whether any hospitals or other health care providers that choose not to provide gender transition services will be allowed to participate in Medicaid
The Department of Health and Human Services estimates this coverage will increase expenditures for the state, but they do not know for sure how many individuals would seek gender reassignment surgery under Medicaid. In the past five years 102 individuals filed Medicaid claims with a diagnosis of gender identity disorder.
The public hearing will be held Wednesday, September 13 at 6 pm at the Howard Recreation Center Assembly Room in Concord, NH. Click here for more information.
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