Trial for Florida’s Medicaid coverage of transgender treatments starts this week | Florida News | Orlando

A trial will start Tuesday after a federal judge rejected an attempt by the state to scuttle a lawsuit that challenges a decision to prevent Medicaid coverage for treatments such as puberty blockers and hormone therapy for transgender people.

U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle on Thursday denied a state motion for summary judgment, saying “there are genuine factual disputes critical to resolving the merits.”

Transgender plaintiffs filed the lawsuit in September in federal court in Tallahassee after the state Agency for Health Care Administration finalized a rule preventing Medicaid reimbursements to health-care providers for puberty blockers, hormone therapy and certain surgical procedures.

The plaintiffs, who are represented by state and national legal groups and law firms, argued in the lawsuit that medical care for the treatment of gender dysphoria is “medically necessary, safe and effective” for transgender adolescents and adults.

The lawsuit also contended that denial of reimbursements for treating transgender people is discriminatory because the same health-care services are “routinely covered by Medicaid when they are for medically necessary purposes other than the treatment of gender dysphoria.”

The trial will start after the Republican-controlled Legislature on Thursday passed a bill (SB 254) that would bar physicians from providing treatments such as puberty blockers and hormone therapy to transgender minors.

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