SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) - Medicaid in Illinois now covers medical surgeries, procedures and treatment for people who are transitioning genders. The Illinois Rules of Government Agencies showcase what are the qualifications for gender-affirming procedures.
A qualified individual for treatment includes: a diagnosis of gender dysphoria, received hormone therapy and lived as the desired gender for at least a year. Governor JB Pritzker said changing the medicaid policy would help avoid long term health consequences and make sure gender-affirming surgeries are cost effective.
In a statement, the Governor said in part:
"Healthcare is a right, not a privilege, and I'm committed to ensuring our LGBTQ community and all Illinoisans have access to that right."
Grey Donoho, 18, is transitioning from female to male. When he turns 21, he could be eligible for genital and breast-related surgeries.
"Do I want to fit in with everybody else? Donoho asked herself. "Or do I want to go into this new environment being authentic as possible?"
He said he wouldn't have thought the state of Illinois would make a decision towards healthcare equity.
"Nowadaysm LGBTQ people always get shunned when they aren't understood," Donoho said. "That's all we want, is to be understood."
Governor Pritzker said changing the medicaid policy was the right thing to do and his administration will always stand with the transgender community.