Advocates across Illinois celebrated the final rule that regulates Medicaid coverage for gender-affirming surgery.
The final rule prioritizes the patient-provider relationship, allowing Medicaid to cover life-saving, medically necessary procedures for trans and gender non-conforming people.
A proposed rule by the state's Medicaid agency, the Department of Healthcare and Family Services, was first released last summer. That proposed rule passed the final step in the Illinois rulemaking process that was published Jan. 3, 2020; said rule is being put into effect retroactively for Dec. 23, 2019. This codification takes place after the updated regulation cleared the last hurdle of approval from the State's Joint Committee on Administrative Rules.
"I'm so relieved that I can finally look forward to feeling like myself, my whole self," said Camillaa Lockett, community member and client at Howard Brown Health, in a press statement. "I could not afford the surgery that I need on my own. I've had Medicaid for a few years but have not tried to get surgery because I thought I wouldn't get the coverage I need."
The AIDS Foundation of Chicago, American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, Center on Halsted, Equality Illinois, Howard Brown Health, Lambda Legal, the National Center for Transgender Equality, and the TransLife Care Program of Chicago House and Social Service Agency were among lauding the rule, according to a Howard Brown press release.