MILWAUKEE — Wisconsin’s Medicaid will no longer automatically deny transition-related care for transgender people after a court decision.
The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported on Tuesday that the plantiffs’ lawyers announced the news after the state didn’t appeal a previous court decision.
U.S. District Judge William Conley wrote the “consensus within the medical profession (is) that gender dysphoria is a serious medical condition, which if left untreated or inadequately treated can cause adverse symptoms, such as anxiety, depression, serious mental distress, self-harm, and suicidal ideation.”
Four named plaintiffs will share about $840,000 in damages, according to the newspaper, and the state will pay about $1.35 million in legal fees to three law firms who handled their case.
“We applaud the Wisconsin Department of Health Services for accepting the Court’s rulings and the medical consensus that gender-confirming health care saves lives,” said lead attorney Joseph Wardenski of Relman Dane & Colfax in Washington, D.C.
The Journal-Sentinel reported that the state’s health department must adopt and publicize a new, inclusive policy and notify transgender Medicaid recipients who may have been denied coverage in the past that they may now be eligible.
Cody Flack of Green Bay and Sara Ann Makenzie of Baraboo sued the state in 2018 after they were denied coverage. Two more plantiffs, Marie Kelly, 38, of Milwaukee and Courtney Sherwin, 35, of Janesville, joined the case when it became a class action in April.