New Hampshire Advocates Applaud End to Discriminatory Health Care Exclusion of Transition-related Surgeries from Medicaid Coverage October 19, 2017

Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen
[email protected] / 305-904-2392

Concord, NH –  Transgender nondiscrimination advocates applauded today’s vote by the Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules (JLCAR) to approve proposed regulations from the Department of Health and Human Services that will end the discriminatory exclusion from Medicaid coverage of gender transition-related surgeries.

“Transgender people need and deserve access to health care just like everyone else,” said Linds Jakows, Campaign Manager, Freedom NH. “There is no legitimate reason to exclude medical treatment that the health care community agrees is medically-necessary from the state’s Medicaid program. Ending this discriminatory exclusion will make New Hampshire a healthier and more free place for transgender residents. When the next legislative session resumes in January, we call on our lawmakers to continue fighting discrimination by updating the state’s nondiscrimination law to explicitly include transgender residents.”

Gender reassignment surgery is medically necessary for some transgender people experiencing gender dysphoria. Ending the exclusion of gender reassignment surgery from covered services under the state’s Medicaid program brings New Hampshire into consensus with the medical professional community – including major medical organizations such as the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and the World Health Organization – and into compliance with federal regulations under the Affordable Care Act.

“We applaud New Hampshire for taking this straightforward but important step to ensure that transgender people in the Granite State have equal access to medically-necessary health care,” said Devon Chafee, Executive Director, ACLU-NH.

“With the adoption of these regulations today, New Hampshire is not only ending a discriminatory practice, it is ensuring that the state Medicaid program is in compliance with federal requirements under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act,” said Janson Wu, Executive Director of GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders.

The new regulation has been signed by Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeffrey Meyers, and is officially effective as of Friday, October 20, 2017.