Massachusetts Looking At Ways To Make Gender Transitioning On Taxpayers’ Dime Easier

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What should the Massachusetts government do to promote transgenderism?

It’s a question that the state’s Division of Insurance has been looking at over the past several months; state officials are looking at adding more mandates for insurance companies for what they have to cover to ease the gender-transition process for people who identify with a gender that doesn’t correspond with their biological sex.

The mandates would include the state’s publicly-funded health insurance provider: MassHealth. It’s the Massachusetts version of both Medicaid and the Child Health Insurance Program (sometimes called CHIP).

Kevin Beagan, the deputy commissioner for the Division of Insurance, emphasized the need to do more for these people during a telephone conference with consumers and insurers on Friday afternoon.

Beagan said that the department would like to see more care managers at insurance companies who can let people know what services they have access to and what they have available in the community.

He also said that insurers making people pay for services up front and reimbursing them later is a barrier that needs to be addressed in both the public and private health insurance markets.

“We did hear at least one or questions about where, in certain instances, consumers needed to pay upfront for electrolysis as a precursor for surgery and they got reimbursed afterward. That causes certain barriers regarding access to care that we should learn more about. Something that was brought up is that this is not unique situation for the insured market, and it’s a concern on the MassHealth side that we need to understand,” Beagan said during the teleconference Friday, November 5.

Beagan also highlighted the time it takes for people in Massachusetts to get approval from health insurance companies for certain gender-transitioning practices such as hair removal and hormone replacement therapy, particularly if those services are supposed to happen at the same time.

“We at the division need to do some work to actually understand a little more about not just the individual carriers but even how MassHealth is proceeding. It’s our goal to develop processes that are as comparable with the carriers and also MassHealth as practical.”

Since 2014, Massachusetts has required insurance companies to cover gender reassignment surgery for people with gender dysphoria that the state deems medically necessary.


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