San Francisco to Expand Healthcare Insurance to Cover Transgender Surgeries

Golden Gate Bridge
Image Joe Dsilva/Flickr

San Francisco will now be extending its Healthy SF program that provides uninsured people with subsidized health insurance to transgender patients.

The San Francisco Health Commission voted on Tuesday to create a program that would enable the transgender patients get surgeries that were earlier offered to non-transgender patients.

The program previously covered procedures that would require hormone treatment or mental health services to aid in gendertransition, but gender-reassignment surgeries weren't covered.

"Until now, Healthy SF excluded care for transgender issues, even when the procedures are medically necessary. A transgender man may need a hysterectomy as part of his transgender operations and it wouldn't be covered, but a non-transgender woman could need the exact same procedure and it would be covered," Kristina Wertz, director of policy and programs at the Transgender Law Center, told Huffington Post.

The new system is expected to start in a few months. Under the new plan, transgender patients will have access to all surgeries that are medically required and are available to non-transgender people. Cities like San Francisco and Berkley already have transgender-inclusive health care plans for city employees.

"This decision will help get critically needed medical care to countless transgender Americans. More and more medical authorities finally agree: nobody should be denied healthcare simply because of who they are," said Herndon Graddick, president of GLAAD.

In May this year, Argentina approved a law that would give people a right to change their gender and even get required surgeries covered by medical plans.

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