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Insurance Companies Ordered To Stop Denying Gender-Reassignment Surgery In D.C.

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A transgender woman. (credit: CRIS BOURONCLE/AFP/Getty Images)

A transgender woman. (credit: CRIS BOURONCLE/AFP/Getty Images)

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UPDATED: Feb. 27, 2014 11:38 a.m.
ORIGINAL: Feb. 27, 2014 6:32 a.m.

WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — Insurance companies in the District of Columbia have been ordered to stop denying coverage to transgender residents seeking gender-reassignment surgery.

Mayor Vincent Gray says the new rules will end health-care discrimination against the transgender population and put “the district at the forefront of advancing the rights of transgender individuals.”

The District joins five states that guarantee such coverage.

A bulletin issued Thursday by the city’s Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking says that gender dysphoria is a recognized medical condition. It says the various forms of treatment for that condition, including sex-change procedures, are covered benefits.

“Today, the District takes a major step towards leveling the playing field for individuals diagnosed with gender dysphoria,” Gray said. “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.”

Gender dysphoria is also known as gender identity disorder.

The mayor is a Democrat who is seeking re-election.

The city already has laws banning discrimination against transgender people.

(TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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