California rules insurance companies must cover breast amputation for transgender minors

by Jenny Mount · Jan 5th, 2021 3:27 pm
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Last Updated Jan 6th, 2021 at 6:48 pm

California has decided that insurance coverage in the state must cover breast amputation for minor girls who choose to identify as male.

By recategorizing double mastectomies for gender dysphoric females as "reconstructive" rather than "cosmetic," the California insurance commissioner has declared that normal female breast tissue qualifies as "abnormal structures of the body caused by congenital defects," and therefore health insurance providers may not deny coverage of the surgery to minor transgender patients.

Several advocates for children have spoken out against the change, warning that it endangers children.

"[The language change is] unethical, predatory, and despicable attempt to even more viciously abuse children via gender ideology," said Maria Keffler, co-founder of the Partners for Ethical Care. "By circumventing parental consent in order to medicalize children without any minimum age restriction, the California Department of Insurance, whose very letterhead claims to 'Protect, Prevent, and Preserve', does exactly the opposite."

Keffler and others said the standards of care California is using to mandate their changes are based on shoddy or insufficient evidence.

Nevertheless, pro-LGBT lawmakers are hailing the decision as a breakthrough for "equality."

"Every patient, including those experiencing gender dysphoria, deserves to have their specific clinical situation taken into consideration," said California Assemblyman Evan Low. "Discrimination does not have a place in California and should not have a place anywhere in health care."


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