NY State Mulls Medicaid for Transgender Surgery

Thursday, Sep 29, 2011  |  Updated 3:51 PM EDT
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NY State Mulls Medicaid for Transgender Surgery

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A state Medicaid advisory group has proposed covering surgery and therapy for transgender New Yorkers, procedures currently excluded from the program that paid $53 billion last year for low-income residents' health care.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo appointed a task force to overhaul the Medicaid system and cut costs. Its working group examining disparities in coverage is expected to decide next week where the transgender proposal fits on its list of priorities.

Advocates say there's limited data, but the change could affect thousands of New Yorkers and help cut Medicaid costs for their mental health and drug abuse treatment.

California and Minnesota already provide Medicaid coverage for transgender surgery and hormone replacement therapy, which the American Medical Association calls medically necessary.

Cuomo will consider task force recommendations in his budget next year.

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