WASHINGTON — The federal government is telling insurers Friday that they can now provide transgender people with coverage for transition-related care — including sex-reassignment surgery — in federal employee health care plans, BuzzFeed has learned.
Two sources informed of the decision told BuzzFeed the longtime exclusion of transition-related care under the Federal Employees Health Benefits program is coming to an end on Friday in the form of a letter being sent to the insurance providers. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) officials would neither confirm nor provide comment to BuzzFeed about the decision.
The move comes two weeks after Medicare made a similar move. In the Medicare case, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Departmental Appeals Board issued a ruling that ended a ban on Medicare even considering the coverage of sex-reassignment surgery and related care because a fear of “serious complications” resulting from the “experimental” surgery.
The OPM change does not mean that federal employee health insurers must cover transition-related care, the sources said, but the change does permit the insurers to do so.