Tricare Transgender Policy Released By Defense Department

On September 7th, the Department of Defense released its policy for expanding transgender medical treatments via the Tricare system. The expansion part of the policy refers to new rules that apply to military family members and to retirees. One of the major bits of information released is that regional contractors will be able to approve certain types of transgender care beginning on October 6th.

The policy released does not cover everything that it will need to cover as time goes by, but it does cover mental health counseling. It also covers hormone therapy as long as it is associated with gender dysphoria. This is the medical term for those individuals who identify with the opposite gender that they were born with. One limitation is that hormone therapy coverage is not approved for those who are under 16 years of age.

lgbtThe reason given for this particular limitation is that many of those who present with gender dysphoria as a child do not have that same feeling once they reach adolescence. It is therefore not in the person’s best interest to begin endocrine treatments in pre-pubertal children.

It has also been reported that by October 1st, commanders will receive a handbook detailing the new policy that also includes medical guidance related to transition care options available to transgender troops. In the recent past, certain types of transgender treatments under Tricare were allowed through the use of waivers that came from Navy Vice Adm. Raquel Bono, who is the current head of the Defense Health Agency.

Within the new policy just released are instructions that military medical facilities can begin providing counseling, hormone treatments, and sex-change surgery, but only when considered “medically necessary.”  Sex-change surgery is “medically necessary” when treating what is called “ambiguous genitalia” which can be documented to have occurred at birth. Sex-change surgery for other reasons is explicitly prohibited under the new Tricare policy.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Robert Partain

Robert Partain

Robert Partain has been a professional writer for over 25 years. He spent ten years on active duty in the Army working as a medic and training NCO. While he covers any topic associated with military life, he specializes in writing about legislation that can affect active duty service members and veterans. Robert currently lives in the small town of Arab, Alabama.
Robert Partain
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