Plaintiffs Added To Wva Suit Over Denied Transgender Care

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Two plaintiffs have been added to a federal lawsuit alleging West Virginia’s Medicaid and state employee health plans unlawfully denied coverage for gender-confirming care for transgender residents.

LGBTQ interest group Lambda Legal announced the additions to a lawsuit Thursday that it had filed in November 2020 accusing the state of violating the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid law by not covering treatments for gender dysphoria.

Transgender women Shauntae Anderson and Leanne James were denied coverage for gender-confirming care, according to the lawsuit. Anderson is enrolled in a Medicaid plan and James is enrolled in a Public Employees Insurance Agency health plan offered by the state.

The original suit was filed on behalf of Christopher Fain, who was denied coverage for his testosterone prescription under Medicaid, and Zachary Martell, who is married to a state employee with health care coverage. Both Fain and Martell were denied coverage for a bilateral mastectomy.

Lambda Legal has sued at least two other states for excluding gender-confirming care in state employee health plans, and two other groups.