December 12, 2019

Wisconsin Decides Against Appeal of Decision Overturning Policy on Gender-Confirming Health Care for Transgender Medicaid Beneficiaries

A settlement between Wisconsin and transgender Medicaid beneficiaries was reached on December 10, ending a legal battle over a policy that had denied Medicaid coverage to transgender individuals for gender-confirming health care.  As part of the settlement, the named plaintiffs will share about $840,000 in damages and the state will pay about $1.35 million in legal fees. The settlement also signaled Wisconsin’s decision not to appeal an August 16 ruling by United States District Judge William Conley (W.D. Wis) overturning an administrative provision under Wisconsin Department of Health Services rules that excluded coverage of “transsexual surgery” for Medicaid recipients. In granting summary judgement for the plaintiffs, Judge Conley ruled that Wisconsin's exclusion violated Medicaid law, the Affordable Care Act and the equal protection rights of transgender patients who require gender-confirming surgery.