DoD announces new TriCare Transgender Policy

Military.com announced yesterday the release of a new TriCare policy which includes some coverage of treatment for transgender people. TriCare governs medical treatment for military members, their family, and retirees.

The move gives the health care system's regional contractors the go-ahead to cover some transgender care starting Oct. 6.

In a shocking move meant to please nobody,

The policy covers mental health counseling and hormone therapy for "gender dysphoria," the clinical term for those who identify as a gender different from the one they were assigned at birth. It prohibits hormone therapy coverage for children under 16.

Because a diagnosis of gender dysphoria in a prepubertal child may resolve [a majority of childhood cases do not persist into adolescence], endocrine treatment of prepubertal children ... is not authorized.

The policy is citing a study which has been largely debunked.

Prior to the release, some transgender Tricare treatment has been covered through waivers provided by Navy Vice Adm. Raquel Bono, head of the Defense Health Agency.

By Oct. 1, officials will issue a handbook for commanders and all those affected by the new policy, as well as medical guidance for providing transition care to transgender troops.

Sex-change surgery is explicitly prohibited in Tricare's new policy, unless it is treating "ambiguous genitalia which is documented to have been present at birth.

Tricare is prohibited by law from covering the procedure.

--Defense Department spokesman

Full details are here.

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