Department of Veterans Affairs Approves Gender Affirming Surgeries

From Department of Veterans Affairs

VA currently provides all medically necessary gender-affirming care to transgender Veterans with the exception of gender-affirming surgical interventions, due to an exclusion in the VA medical benefits package. The LGBTQ+ Health Program is pleased to share that in the summer 2021, VA will be initiating the rulemaking process to modify the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) to expand VA’s care to transgender Veterans to include gender-affirming surgery.

  1. VA currently provides all medically necessary gender-affirming care to transgender Veterans with the exception of gender-affirming surgical interventions, due to an exclusion in the VA medical benefits package.
  2. Gender-affirming procedures have been proven effective at mitigating serious health conditions, including , substance abuse, and dysphoria.
  3. Removing this exclusion would allow VA to provide transgender and gender diverse Veterans with coordinated, medically necessary, transition-related surgical procedures. In addition, revising the medical benefits package would enable a safe, coordinated continuum of care that is Veteran-centric and consistent with VA’s values of equity and respect for all Veterans.
  4. The entire rulemaking process can take approximately two years and includes a period of public comment. This will allow VA to develop the framework to provide the full continuum of care in a way that is consistent with VA’s rigorous standards for quality health care.
  5. During the rulemaking process, VA will continue to provide or pay for the services it currently offers, including corrective procedures after gender affirming surgeries a Veteran obtains outside VA, hormone therapy, and other gender affirming care.

For more information visit www.patientcare.va.gov/lgbt/

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