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For Transgender Youths in New York, It Would Be a Health Care Milestone

ALBANY — The New York State Health Department has signaled that it intends to allow transgender youths to receive Medicaid coverage for hormones that forestall puberty, wiping away prohibitions that have been criticized by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender groups.

The move, announced on Wednesday in a proposed rule in the State Register, would allow minors who are being treated for gender dysphoria to receive Medicaid payment for pubertal suppressants and cross-sex hormone therapy, which mimic the biological chemistry of the opposite gender. Previously, the state had covered such hormone treatments for adults, a change that took effect last year.

In the proposed rule, the department stated that its concerns about safety and efficacy were supplanted after it “had the opportunity to talk to a number of practitioners who treat minors” with gender dysphoria, who uniformly agreed that hormone therapies were medically justifiable for young people who feel that their birth sex is not their true gender.


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