Georgia Medicaid to cover gender-affirming surgery following ACLU settlement

A supporter for the transgender community holds a trans flag in front of counter-protesters to protect attendees from their insults and obscenities at the city's Gay Pride Festival in Atlanta on Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Robin Rayne)

Georgia Medicaid will now cover gender-affirming surgery, a result of a recent lawsuit settlement filed by the American Civil Liberties Union.

Georgia joins a majority of U.S. states in providing Medicaid coverage for transgender people. Prior to medical intervention, recipients will undergo discussion with relevant medical professionals, presentation of treatment options, consultation with mental health care providers and several other steps required for coverage.

Currently, fewer than 10 U.S. states explicitly exclude care. Carl Charles, a senior attorney in the Southern Regional Office of Lambda Legal, views the settlement as a step in the right direction for transgender people in the state.

“Transgender people are chronically unemployed due in large part to being pushed out of families of origin, out of schools [and] having limited opportunities for education. Many transgender people who live at the intersection of a number of identities — folks of color, people living with disabilities — access health care coverage through state Medicaid plans,” Charles said on Thursday’s edition of “Closer Look.”

“It is just so crucial for all kinds of health care that they need, but especially for gender-affirming care.”