By Steven Allen Adams, The Intelligencer
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A lawsuit challenging a prohibition on covering hormone therapy treatments and surgeries through Medicaid and West Virginia’s public worker insurance provider can move forward.
U.S. District Judge Robert Chambers issued an order Wednesday ruling against a motion by the West Virginia Public Employees Insurance Agency to dismiss a lawsuit filed in November in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia on behalf of Medicaid recipients and public workers.
Christopher Fain, Zachary Martell and Brian McNemar allege the state’s blanket prohibition on covering gender hormone replacement therapy, used to treat gender dysphoria, is discriminatory. Chambers agreed that the allegations against PEIA and the state Department of Health and Human Resources need further review.
Fain’s case centers around DHHR’s refusal to cover surgical procedures to treat gender dysphoria, defined by the Mayo Clinic as “the feeling of discomfort or distress that might occur in people whose gender identity differs from their sex assigned at birth or sex-related physical characteristics.” Gender dysphoria is most often experienced by transgender people…