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Analysis: 152,000 trans adults are on Medicaid

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Less than half live in states where Medicaid covers gender-affirming care

LOS ANGELES — A new analysis has shown that 152,000 transgender Americans are on Medicaid, but less than half are in states where Medicaid pays for gender-affirming care.

The analysis was released by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law.

Gender-affirming care includes a range of services, such as surgical procedures, hormone therapy, and other forms of treatment related to gender transition.

The key findings in the analysis include:

  • 4 million adults in the U.S. identify as transgender and approximately 152,000 of them are enrolled in Medicaid.
  • Fewer than half (69,000) of transgender Medicaid beneficiaries live in states with express policies guaranteeing coverage for gender-affirming care.
  • For 51,000 transgender Medicaid beneficiaries, coverage is uncertain because they live in states where the laws are silent on coverage for gender-affirming care.
  • An estimated 32,000 transgender Medicaid beneficiaries live in states with express bans that deny access to covered gender-affirming care.

“This patchwork of protections creates uncertainty for transgender people who are enrolled in Medicaid,” said study co-author Christy Mallory, state and local policy director at the Williams Institute.  “Absent further policy changes in states that have bans or lack clear language addressing coverage, many transgender people in the US will continue to face obstacles when seeking health care just because of where they live.”

Illinois’s Medicaid program started to cover gender-affirming care just this year.

You can read the full report here.

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