Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) has told New York health insurance companies they must cover sex-change operations and other treatments considered to be “medically necessary” to attempt to change a man or woman’s sex.
The New York Times reports that Cuomo sent a letter to insurance companies indicating that the coverage for such treatments and surgeries stems from state law’s requirement that health insurers provide coverage for psychological disorders.
The current, fifth edition of the DSM recognizes a diagnosis of gender dysphoria2 for people whose gender at birth is contrary to the one with which they identify. Since the DSM classifies gender dysphoria as a mental disorder, and it is thus covered under the Empire Plan, Timothy’s Law requires an issuer delivering or issuing a group or school blanket policy in New York that provides coverage for inpatient hospital care or for physician services to provide coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of gender dysphoria.
According to the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, New York is now the ninth state to require insurance coverage for sex-change treatments and surgery. The state is also in the midst of settling a lawsuit that seeks Medicaid coverage for sex-change surgeries.