June 25, 2015 —The Office of Personnel Management on Tuesday announced that insurers that offer plans to federal employees must include coverage for transition-related care for transgender individuals, BuzzFeed News reports.
One year ago, OPM ended its ban on such coverage, but it did not require insurers to include the services in their plans for federal employees. OPM later "strongly encourage(d)" plans to include coverage for transition-related health care.
OPM in a carrier letter wrote, "Effective January 1, 2016, no carrier participating in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program may have a general exclusion of services, drugs or supplies related to gender transition or 'sex transformations.'" The agency added that the "letter clarifies OPM's earlier guidance recognizing the evolving professional consensus that treatment may be medically necessary to address a diagnosis of gender dysphoria" (Geidner, BuzzFeed News, 6/23).