Ask Lambda Legal – Medicare and Sex Reassignment Surgeries by Karen Loewy, Senior Attorney and Seniors Program Strategist, Lambda Legal
Q: I am transgender woman in my late 60’s. I only recently came out and I’m not sure what type of transition-related medical care I need yet. What is covered by my Medicare plan for people like me?
A: Congratulations on coming out! There have been some recent changes in coverage for transgender people who have Medicare, and thankfully the changes are headed in the right direction.
On May 30, 2014, a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) review board ruled that transgender people receiving Medicare may no longer be automatically denied coverage for sex reassignment surgeries. Before this, Medicare, the federal government’s health insurance program for people over the age of 65 and people living with long-term disabilities, uniformly banned coverage of sex reassignment surgeries (SRS) for its nearly 50 million beneficiaries. Now, Medicare recipients can seek coverage for all medically necessary transition-related health care, including routine preventive care, hormone therapy, and surgeries.Read More