More Great News for Trans Health!
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced earlier this week new regulations to include transgender health care services under New York State’s Medicaid program. ( PDF). The proposed regulations provide treatment for hormone therapy and gender reassignment surgery.
The new regulation will guarantee transgender New Yorkers access to Medicaid-funded care, which is critical to safeguarding the principle of equal treatment. Harlem United is thrilled that New York State, after 16 years, is taking this important step and resuming its leadership in the fight for transgender rights.
Under the proposed regulations, hormone therapy and gender reassignment surgery would be covered for persons who have referrals from medical professionals. Surgery would be covered for individuals who are a minimum age of 18 or 21 years old, depending on specific circumstances. Referring medical professionals will have to document that a patient has persistent gender dysphoria, has received appropriate hormone therapy a minimum of one year, has lived a minimum of one year in the gender role consistent with the person’s gender identity and has received mental health counseling.
Hormones and therapy are a vital part of many transgender people’s transition process. The new regulations will help even more New Yorkers access these critical services. Lack of access to medical transition can compound issues for trans people leading to increased stress, anxiety, or depression; difficulty in securing and maintaining a job or housing; and a distrust of medical providers. At Harlem United, we are committed to removing all barriers that stand in the way of good health—for the individual and the community—and the governor’s proposed regulations are another step toward that goal.