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  • Writer's pictureWGON

Johns Hopkins backs Maryland bill to fund child sex changes, face and tracheal surgeries

In a recent email sent to staff, Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Medicine stated their support of a Maryland bill that would expand the types of "medically necessary gender-affirming treatments" covered by the state’s Medicaid program, including puberty blockers for children.

"Last year, Johns Hopkins Medicine provided written and oral testimony in support of a similar bill introduced last year but did not pass in the Maryland House," the email states. "JHM will be submitting written testimony in support of the proposed legislation."

"Helen Hedian, Director of Clinical Education for the Johns Hopkins Center for Transgender and Gender Expansive Health will be providing oral testimony at the upcoming committee hearings this month.

"Paula M. Neira, Program Director of LGBTQ+ Equity and Education in the Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Health Equity, will also be testifying in support of the proposed revisions to the Maryland Medicaid program," the email concluded.

The email was in support of Maryland House Bill 283 and its sister bill in the Senate, SB 460.

HB 283 was introduced on January 29, 2023, entitled "Trans Health Equity Act."

The bill states that on January 1, 2024, if passed, the Maryland Medical Assistance Program will be required to cover "gender-affirming" treatments.

These treatments include puberty blockers for children, hormone therapy, hair alteration, voice alterations and therapy, mastectomies and breast augmentations, laser scar treatments, genital surgeries, and fertility preservation services, among others.

The legislation states that "'gender-affirming treatment' may include treatment described in the current clinical Standards of Care for gender-affirming treatment published by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health."

For those receiving treatment under Medicaid, "medically necessary gender-affirming treatment" will be provided in a "nondiscriminatory manner."

"In addition, the law provides a mechanism t ensure that coverage may not be excluded because a treatment was labeled as cosmetic, or that an adverse health benefit determination cannot be made, unless a health care provider with gender-affirming care experience has reviewed and confirmed the determination," the Johns Hopkins email states.

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