Medicare’s recent decision to cover sex-reassignment surgery was a victory for transgender advocates seeking broader access to medical care for a condition that still carries social stigma. After all, the federal health program was one of the first to exclude such treatments more than 30 years ago.
Yet a series of announcements since then shows the extent of advocates’ push to get insurance providers to share the cost of matching a patient’s outward gender and inner identity. Since the Medicare decision in May, officials have opened the door to coverage by health plans for federal employees as well as required it for many plans in Massachusetts and Washington state. About a half-dozen mostly liberal states had already expanded coverage.