DC Medicaid to cover trans-inclusive healthcare, while NY continues discriminating

Today, Washington, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray clarified the District's position on removing discriminatory transgender-specific exclusions in health insurance policies. Under the newly issued bulletin, all private insurance plans offered in the district, as well as government employee plans and Medicaid, are required to cover all healthcare deemed medically necessary for transgender people.

In addition, the bulletin states that insurance companies must refer to the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH)'s guidelines and the District's Human Rights Act in determining the necessity of medical procedures and benefits provided. Discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression is prohibited under the District's Human Rights Act.

"Today's actions take us closer to being One City that values and protects the health of all our residents," said D.C. Mayor Gray. "This action places the District at the forefront of advancing the rights of transgender individuals."

Washington, D.C. joins states like California and Minnesota in requiring Medicaid to cover trans-inclusive healthcare, but other states like New York continue to enforce discriminatory exclusions. The Sylvia Rivera Law Project, the Audre Lorde Project, and GLAAD launched a campaign in New York calling for Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Health Commissioner Nirav Shah to repeal a harmful state regulation that bans transgender from accessing medically necessary healthcare through Medicaid. The campaign includes a series of PSA videos that have been viewed nearly 100,000 times, an infographic showing the many benefits of covering healthcare for transgender people, and a Change.org petition calling for safe, affordable healthcare for all.

"This is a great policy change for trans and gender non-conforming people in DC, who will now have access to medically necessary care under Medicaid," said Reina Gossett, SRLP's Director of Membership. "In New York, that's still not the case, even though Health Commissioner Nirav Shah called the state a 'leader in promoting transgender issues.' We all need access to safe, affordable healthcare now!"

SRLP and TransJustice at ALP recently led a community action on Valentines Day, calling for Commissioner Shah to repeal the regulation that bans transgender healthcare coverage through Medicaid. Make the Road, Trans Women of Color Collective, Trans Latinas, and many community members participated. Senator Brad Hoylman also attended and spoke out in support of a repeal. 

Join SRLP, ALP and GLAAD in calling for trans inclusive healthcare under New York Medicaid! Share these videos and sign the Change.org petition urging Gov. Cuomo and Commissioner Shah to remove the discriminatory transgender exclusions.