Alaska is the latest US state to begin covering trans healthcare under Medicaid following a lawsuit against the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHHS). According to the Anchorage Daily News, three citizens – Swan Being, Robin Black and Austin Reed – sued the DHHS last year, arguing that the state’s refusal to cover the cost of gender-affirming healthcare was a violation of their civil rights.
Alaska was one of 10 states which explicitly denied Medicaid coverage for gender-affirming healthcare. However, the plaintiffs have now won the case, and the new regulations are due to come into effect on July 25. Carl Charles, an attorney with Lambda Legal, told Alaska Public Media that the changes are going to be “lifesaving”, adding: “It will cost the state very little to make these people’s lives really measurably improved.”
Charles also highlighted: “When you consider the transgender people as a group, when you take into consideration that we are chronically underemployed as a result of anti-trans discrimination, that makes health care that much more difficult.” All three of the plaintiffs will now receive $60,000 in reparations.