Maryland House Passes Bill Requiring Gender-Affirming Care Under Medicaid

Maryland’s House of Delegates passed a bill on Saturday that would expand the state’s Medicaid program to cover gender-affirming procedures for transgender, intersex, nonbinary, two-spirit and all other gender-diverse people.The Trans Health Equity Act, HB0283, would play an important role in ensuring that low-income transgender Maryland residents on Medicaid can have access to hormone therapy, puberty blockers, hair alterations, surgeries on the face and other parts of the body along with several other gender-affirming procedures that are often covered by private insurance.Advertisement According to data from the Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles, 24,000 Maryland residents are transgender, and 6,000 are enrolled in Medicaid.In 2022, 98 transgender Maryland residents got gender-affirming care through Medicaid.But the state’s Medicaid program currently only covers some gender-affirming procedures, including mental health services, hormone replacement therapy, and gender reassignment surgery for patients 18 and older who meet specific qualifications.

Meanwhile, gender-affirming care is commonly covered by private insurance.The legislation, a similar version to one that failed last year, passed in the House final vote by a count of 93-37.During the committee meetings, several Democrats spoke about their support for the legislation, including delegate Anne Kaiser who sponsored the bill.“We don’t have representation in this House by anyone in the trans community.So myself and, my 59 co-sponsors we are your voice.

We are your representation,” Kaiser said.Advertisement She continued: “We recognize that what is being said nationally … about trans people are the same lies that were said about gays and lesbians 20 years ago, and that’s part of the reason I feel the passion and the connection to our trans brothers and sisters, our neighbors, our community.”House Republicans proposed an amendment to the bill on Fri...

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Publisher: The Huffington Post

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