ATLANTA — A lawsuit settled on Wednesday by the American Civil Liberties Union will now grant transgender Medicaid recipients in Georgia the ability to get gender reassignment surgery.
The lawsuit, which was filed against the Georgia Department of Community Health in June 2021, claimed that banning gender-affirming surgeries violated the U.S. Constitution, the Affordable Care Act, and the federal Medicaid Act.
As part of the settlement, the Georgia Department of Community Health will remove the exclusion for gender-reassignment surgery from Georgia Medicaid and will provide the care when it is medically necessary.
“Denying necessary health care because an individual is transgender is discriminatory and unconstitutional,” said Nneka Ewulonu, staff attorney with the ACLU of Georgia. “This settlement will give low-income transgender Georgians on Medicaid—who are disproportionately likely to be Black—access to gender-affirming care for the first time in over 20 years.
The department also agreed to begin using clinical guidelines for treating gender dysphoria.
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The lawsuit was filed on behalf of two transgender women and Medicaid beneficiaries, Delshone Thomas and Gwendolyn Cheney, who were denied gender-reassignment surgery.
The removal of the exclusion will take several months, but transgender Georgians will now be able to apply for coverage through their insurance providers.
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