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Florida Eliminates Medicaid Coverage for Gender-Affirming Care

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Florida’s Medicare system is eliminating coverage of gender-affirming care for trans youth and adults.The new regulations announced yesterday will block medical providers from seeking reimbursement from the state for “puberty blockers, hormones and hormone antagonists, sex reassignment surgeries, and any other procedures that alter primary or secondary sexual characteristics.”It comes after the Florida Medical Board voted to ban gender-affirming care last week.The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA), which oversees the state’s Medicaid system, said the new rules will go into effect on August 21 of this year, forcing patients to pay for these services out-of-pocket.

The announcement was met with criticism from a broad spectrum of medical experts, LGBTQ+ groups, and trans people nationwide.Lambda Legal, Southern Legal Counsel, Florida Health Justice Project, and National Health Law Program issued a joint statement, calling the move “morally and legally wrong as well as medically and scientifically unsound,” and promised to fight back.“Ignoring thousands of public comments and expert testimony, Florida’s AHCA has finalized a rule that will deny Medicaid coverage for all medically necessary gender-affirming care for both youth and adults,” the coalition said. “This discriminatory and medically unsound rule will take effect on August 21, 2022, putting transgender people in jeopardy of losing access to critical gender-affirming health care services.”The coalition promised to “fight this rule and defend the rights of transgender people in Florida in whatever forum necessary to protect their rights to access health care coverage that is readily available to other participants in Florida’s Medicaid program.

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