HMO sues over sex change

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com April 24 2003 11:00 PM ET

The HMO Health Net Inc. has sued the California Department of Health Services in an effort to overturn an order requiring it to pay for a patient's sex-change operation, the Los Angeles Times reports. The case involves a woman, identified in court papers only as "P.M.," who was denied a sex-change operation by Health Net because it was seen as not medically necessary. The patient, who is enrolled in Medi-Cal, appealed the decision to the state, and a judge determined that the surgery was necessary in her case. "Medical professionals have raised serious issues about the medical necessity related to this case," said a Health Net spokesman in explaining the appeal. "Under these circumstances, we think it right and appropriate for us to see a reconsideration."