DES MOINES, Iowa — The Iowa Supreme Court has unanimously upheld a lower court ruling that determined the State must allow “sex change” operations to be covered under Medicaid.
“[T]he history behind the rule supports our holding that the rule’s express bar on Medicaid coverage for gender-affirming surgical procedures discriminates against transgender Medicaid recipients in Iowa under the ICRA (Iowa Civil Rights Act),” wrote Justice Susan Christensen on behalf of the panel.
“After the DHS amended the rule to bar Medicaid coverage for gender-affirming surgery, the legislature specifically made it clear that individuals cannot be discriminated against on the basis of gender identity under the ICRA,” she said.
“Given our holding that rule 441—78.1(4)’s exclusion of Medicaid coverage for gender-affirming surgery violates the ICRA as amended by the legislature in 2007, we need not address the other issues raised on appeal.”
As previously reported, two men, who go by the names Carol Ann Beal and EerieAnna Good, had sued the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) in 2017 after their doctors were informed that Medicaid would not cover procedures to remove their male reproductive organs.
Under the Iowa Administrative Code, DHS prohibits coverage of cosmetic, reconstructive or plastic surgeries “primarily for psychological reasons or as a result of the aging process” or “for the purpose of sex reassignment.”
Beal and Good, with the aid of the American Civil Liberties Union
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