Florida Moves To Strip ‘Gender-Affirming’ Treatments From Medicaid Coverage

While the federal government has pushed for increased health care coverage for surgeries and other treatments for transgender patients in recent years, many GOP-led states are pushing back against such mandates.

A new rule by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, for example, will go into effect later this month and is designed to prohibit Medicaid plans from funding so-called “gender-affirming” treatments.

According to the agency, health care providers “must inform a recipient of his or her responsibility to pay for services that are not covered by Florida Medicaid, and document in the recipient’s file that the recipient was informed of his or her liability, prior to rendering each service.”

The rule goes on to list a number of services that will be off limits when the new policy goes into effect. Puberty blockers, gender reassignment surgeries and “other procedures that alter primary or secondary sexual characteristics” are among the treatments that will not be covered by the state’s Medicaid program.

Florida officials previously confirmed that they were weighing their options regarding how and whether to ban gender-affirming treatment for minors in the state.

As a proposal by the Florida Department of Health asserted, many “children who are diagnosed with gender dysphoria” no longer have the same issues upon reaching adulthood.

“There is a lack of quality evidence and certainly no conclusive research to support the medical transition of children to the opposite gender as a treatment for gender dysphoria,” the agency said at the time.

Of course, the state’s stance on this hot-button issue has attracted significant backlash from LGBTQ activist groups as well as progressive pundits and politicians.

In a joint statement from agencies including Lambda Legal, Southern Legal Counsel, Florida Health Justice Project, and National Health Law Program, opponents of Florida’s most recent rule expressed their outrage.

“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 statement read. “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.”