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Leading LGBT group praises Medicaid provider’s decision to pay for “gender affirming surgery” for man

surgery-operationDES MOINES — Yesterday, the ACLU of Iowa and ACLU LGBT Project announced that Amerigroup, one of Iowa’s private Medicaid providers, agreed to pay for gender affirming surgery for Andrew Evans, a transgender Iowa man and ACLU client.

Evans was initially unable to receive coverage for the procedure due to a Medicaid ban on transition-related surgeries in Iowa law. The ban applies even if a medical professional deems surgery medically necessary. Medicaid covers many of the same surgeries for people who aren’t transgender. Although Amerigroup has now agreed to cover Evans’ procedure, the ban remains in place.

“We are pleased that Evans’ surgery will be covered,” One Iowa Executive Director Donna Red Wing said. “However, we continue to be concerned that exclusions for transgender surgery and other trans-related health care continue in Iowa and across the nation. One way to ensure transgender people have access to quality health care is for our insurance companies to remove those exclusions.”

One Iowa is the state’s leading lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) organization working toward equality for LGBT individuals through grassroots efforts and education.

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