Pentagon to pay for ‘medically necessary’ sex-change operations
Stars and Stripes | .
published: September 21, 2016
WASHINGTON — The Pentagon will provide sex-change operations to some active-duty transgender servicemembers if a military doctor determines that surgery is required to treat the individual’s gender dysphoria, a Defense Department spokesman said Tuesday.
The department will begin providing transgender servicemembers on active duty all “medically necessary” treatment starting Oct. 1, said Air Force Maj. Ben Sakrisson, the Pentagon spokesman. Treatment could include behavioral health care, hormone therapy, and in some cases gender reassignment surgery. Servicemembers must be diagnosed as stable in their preferred gender for 18 months before they can receive treatment.
“The Secretary of Defense has made clear that servicemembers with a diagnosis from a military medical provider indicating that gender transition is medically necessary will be provided medical care and treatment for the diagnosed medical condition,” Sakrisson said.
Defense Secretary Ash Carter on June 30 repealed the longstanding ban on transgender men and women serving openly in the U.S. military, but he gave the services one year to determine and implement many of the changes that would be necessary for transgender servicemembers – ranging from policies on communal shower facilities to physical fitness standards.