Historic Vote: Health Evidence Review Commission to expand coverage of medically necessary healthcare for Transgender people
The Health Evidence Review Commission (HERC)—which is charged with overseeing the prioritized list of services in Oregon’s Medicaid program—the Oregon Health Plan, voted today to approve the coverage of medically necessary healthcare for Transgender people.
“This is an historic step forward toward fairness and equality for transgender Oregonians,” said Danielle Askini, Basic Rights Oregon’s Policy Director. “All Oregonians need basic care to be healthy, and today’s vote ensures that more Oregonians have access to medically necessary care by bringing Oregon’s policy into line current major international treatment guidelines for Transgender people.”
Since April 2014, HERC has undertaken a process of reviewing the evidence of effectiveness for treatments of Gender Dysphoria. Gender Dysphoria (formerly known as Gender Identity Disorder) is the official medical diagnosis for being transgender in order to receive treatment. The most recent Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) defines Gender Dysphoria as a condition in which a person knows their gender to be different than the gender to which they were assigned at birth. HERC last reviewed treatment for this medical condition in 1999.
“This vote means that, for the first time in the history of the Oregon Health Plan, a comprehensive continuum of healthcare will be available for the treatment of Gender Dysphoria,” said Askini. “Removing transgender exclusions in healthcare coverage saves lives and money. All major health provider associations agree: It is time to end health coverage discrimination based on gender identity.”
Every leading medical professional association now supports increased access to hormonal and surgical healthcare for transgender people. This includes the American Medical Association, American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, National Association of Social Workers, American Public Health Association, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and many others.
Transgender Oregonians on the Oregon Health Plan should be able to receive hormonal and surgical healthcare prescribed by their physician, starting in 2015.
Read more with our Downloadable PDF: FAQ on Oregon Health Plan coverage for Gender Dysphoria for more information on what the vote means and how this may impact transgender Oregonians.
Contact Danielle@basicrights.org for more information or with any questions.