SF Prepares to Expand Medical Services for Transgendered People
The city of San Francisco is creating a new program that will focus exclusively on medical services for transgender people without private insurance.
This week the city's health commission voted to remove gender reassignment surgery from a list of services it does not cover under the city's safety-net insurance program, Healthy San Francisco. San Francisco already provides transgender residents with hormones, counseling and routine health services, but has stopped short of offering surgical interventions.
The new program, which will be separate from Healthy San Francisco, is set to launch next fall.
Tangerine Brigham, with the city's public health department, says one focus of the program will be educating more doctors about treating transgender patients.
"We felt that it would be important to develop a separate program where we really focused on information and referral, education, preparedness, pre-op services, and post-op services, in addition to the actual procedures themselves," says Brigham.
San Francisco in 2001 became the first city in the country to cover sex reassignment surgeries for government employees. Last year, Portland, Ore. did the same. The number of major U.S. companies covering the cost of gender reassignment surgery for transgender workers also doubled last year.