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Michigan Insurer
Eliminates Coverage for Sex-Reassignment Surgery

Michigan Insurer
Eliminates Coverage for Sex-Reassignment Surgery

State regulators recently approved a decision by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan to eliminate coverage for sex-reassignment surgery, sparking outrage among a coalition of groups.

State regulators recently approved a decision by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan to eliminate coverage for sex-reassignment surgery, sparking outrage among a coalition of groups.

As the state's insurer of last resort, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan is required to cover those who cannot otherwise obtain coverage. The insurer said the decision to discontinue coverage of sex-reassignment surgery was based on market analysis that showed their competitors do not offer the procedure.

When the decision was approved by the state in February, officials acknowledged it was "unfortunate," according to the Michigan Messenger. They noted, however, that the law does not regard sex-reassignment surgery as a necessary part of medical care. Professional groups such as the American Medical Association uphold the surgery as necessary.

The newly formed Michigan Coalition for Gender Equality decried the change.

"We are concerned that BCBSM underestimates the profound impact of these medically necessary procedures," said spokesman Andre Wilson. "Gender-reassignment surgeries can be a critical part of the transition process and these new exclusions will place many transgender individuals and their families at real risk."

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