Beginning October 1, 2014, Oregon will become the first state in the nation to offer medically necessary transition-related care to transgender youth covered under Medicaid.
On January 11, Portland-based TransActive Education & Advocacy announced that the Oregon Health Plan and its Healthy Kids Program will cover transition-related care for young people experiencing gender dysphoria, reports PQ Monthly. The new policy will take effect October 1, 2014.
According to PQ, services covered by the new healthcare plan will include not only mental health counseling and pediatric evaluation, but also medication, procedures, and follow-up care related to the suppression of puberty, which advocates say can help trans youth avoid often traumatic pubescent experiences that arise from a body that develops in conflict to the youth's gender identity.
"Pubertal suppression provides transgender adolescents the option of avoiding unwanted, irreversible, and deeply distressing changes that come with birth-sex pubertal development," said TransActive Executive Director Jenn Burleton in a statement. "Far too often trans adolescents experience increased suicidal ideation as a result of these changes and the indifference of others about the impact these changes have on trans youth."