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D.C. health insurance providers must cover treatment, including gender reassignment surgeries, for residents who are diagnosed with gender dysphoria, Mayor Vince Gray announced today.

Gray clarified a policy that went into effect last March that prohibits health coverage discrimination on the basis of gender identity, saying today that the District recognizes gender dysphoria as a diagnosable medical condition.

“Today, the District takes a major step towards leveling the playing field for individuals diagnosed with gender dysphoria,” Gray said in a statement. “These residents should not have to pay exorbitant out-of-pocket expenses for medically necessary treatment when those without gender dysphoria do not. Today’s actions bring us closer to being One City that values and protects the health of all of our residents.”

Gray says that when determining the medical necessity of services and benefits for people diagnosed with gender dysphoria, insurance providers should refer to the World Professional Association for Transgender Health Standards of Care—-the recognized standard of medical care for transgender individuals requiring treatment for gender dysphoria, according to the release.

The Department of Insurance, Securities, and Banking issued a bulletin to local health insurance companies clarifying this policy today. The bulletin can be read here.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery.