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California Orders Insurance Companies to Pay for Teens to Have Mastectomies for Gender Transition

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Above: Jonathan Keller, president of the California Family Council appeared on the Monday edition of CBN News's Newswatch to talk more about the insurance commissioner of California saying that health insurance companies should not apply age limits for gender transition surgery. Newswatch is seen weekdays on the CBN News Channel.

The California Department of Insurance has directed all insurance companies in the Golden State to pay for the mastectomies of any gender transition patients under the age of 18.

Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara issued a General Counsel Opinion Letter clarifying that under existing California law, health insurance companies may not deny coverage based solely on a patient's age for female-to-male patients undergoing "gender-affirming" care for gender dysphoria.

"For far too long, individuals diagnosed with gender dysphoria have had to battle a host of challenges to get access to gender-affirming care in order to be their true selves," Lara said. "Social stigma, misconceptions about gender dysphoria and its treatment, and outdated medical criteria create barriers to necessary medical care that can lead to tragic results for individuals with gender dysphoria, especially for our transgender youth."

The department's General Counsel Opinion Letter was released in response to an inquiry from San Diego's TransFamily Support Services regarding several denials of coverage for male chest surgery for patients under 18 years old who are transitioning from female to male. 

The department determined that denying coverage for mastectomy and the construction of a male chest based solely on age is impermissible. Health insurance companies must consider a patient's specific clinical situation in determining medical necessity.

These double mastectomies performed on female-to-male patients are not allowed to be considered cosmetic but are supposed to be classified as reconstructive surgery now.

As CBN News reported last September, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed several new laws supporting the progressive LGBTQ agenda at the taxpayer's expense.

Included in these laws was the Transgender Wellness and Equity Fund (AB 2218) using taxpayer dollars to give children treatments and medical procedures that opponents say could negatively impact their health and life.

The law provides grants to hospitals and clinics that provide hormone therapy and gender reassignment surgeries and are affiliated with organizations led by transgender activists.

Jonathan Keller, president of the California Family Council told CBN News that parents and children aren't always getting the full facts about the long-term impact of those decisions.

"AB 2218 would essentially allow minor children to obtain not just counseling, but also puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and potentially even life-altering surgeries amputations, mutilations, that could leave them permanently sterile all before they turn 18," he said.

Keller also warned that other states are considering similar laws.

"Unfortunately what happens in California often doesn't stay there. It does tend to get exported around the rest of the country," Keller concluded. 

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