January 9, 2015 at 8:00 am EST | by Staff reports
Trans provision in Oregon goes into effect
Oregon Health Plan, gay news, Washington Blade

(Image public domain)

PORTLAND — The Oregon Health Plan will add medical coverage for low-income transgender people soon that will include gender reassignment surgery, hormone therapy and puberty suppression, the Oregonian reports.

The state estimates that the utilization rate in the health plan will consist of about 175 people in any 12-month period. The total cost of adding these provisions is expected to be less than $150,000 annually, the article said.

Basic Rights Oregon will host a workshop later this month to discuss the changes. Panelists will teach participants how to access covered services.

In August, the state’s Health Evidence Review Commission approved the measures, just now being implemented.

Specific reasons cited for adding the newly covered treatments included relieving gender dysphoria, reducing depression and anxiety and reducing rates of suicide and suicide attempts and risky behavior such as intravenous drug abuse, according to state records, the Oregonian reports.

The move follows a 2012 bulletin from the Oregon Insurance Division, which forbade private insurers from including any categorical exclusions on the basis of a policy holders gender identity. Complaints have continued, however, from those saying they are still being denied covered for those conditions.

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