Iowa court: Medicaid can cover sex reassignment surgery

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The Iowa Supreme Court has upheld a lower court’s ruling that the state cannot deny two transgender women Medicaid coverage for sex reassignment surgery.

In its ruling Friday, the state’s high court agreed with Judge Arthur Gamble’s ruling in June that a 1995 Iowa Department of Human Services policy denying Medicaid coverage for sex reassignment surgery violates the state’s 2007 Civil Rights Act, which added gender identity to the state’s list of protected classes.

Gamble also deemed state’s 1995 policy unconstitutional, but the high court did not address that finding.

The ruling comes in the consolidated cases of Carol Ann Beal and EerieAnna Good, who sued in 2017 after their Medicaid provider and the Iowa Department of Human Services denied surgery requests recommended by doctors.

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