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Minnesota public benefits and gender reassignment

As far back as the 1970s, Minnesota's State-funded medical programs, particularly Medical Assistance (MA), covered a range of services related to the gender transitioning, including counseling, hormones, and surgery. Beginning in 1994, the year after protections for discrimination on the basis of gender identity were added to the Minnesota Human Rights Act, the Legislature has been working to narrow the scope of coverage.

On July 14, 2005, Gov. Tim Pawlenty signed into law the omnibus health and human services bill that included provisions stating that for both the GAMC and MA programs, "sex reassignment surgery is not a covered service." The law came into effect August 1, 2005 and has been codified as Minn. Stat. 256B.0625, subd.3a. This exclusion remains in force today. 

United States Department of Health and Human Services

In May 2014, the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) overturned a 25-year-old exclusion of gender-reassignment surgery from the scope of the Medicare program.  It is expected that Medicare beneficiaries will be able to request coverage for medically-necessary gender-reassignment surgeries.  For more information, please click here for an informational sheet from the National Center for Transgender Equality.

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