ARIZONA NEWS

Judge affirms Arizona can no longer exclude gender-affirming care from state health plans

Oct 2, 2023, 5:00 PM

(Photo by Olivier Touron/AFP via Getty Images)...

(Photo by Olivier Touron/AFP via Getty Images)

(Photo by Olivier Touron/AFP via Getty Images)

 

PHOENIX (AP) — A federal judge has approved a final settlement eliminating a ban on providing gender-affirming care under Arizona state employee health insurance.

In court documents filed Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Rosemary Marquez signed off on a consent decree in a class action lawsuit led by Dr. Russell Toomey, a University of Arizona professor, against the state and the Arizona Board of Regents.

Toomey is transgender and sought coverage for a “medically necessary” surgery in 2019.

In June, Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs issued an executive order prohibiting state employee health plans from listing gender-affirming care as ineligible for coverage, reversing a Republican-backed ban that was enacted in 2017.

Hobbs also declared in another order that state agencies cannot cooperate with civil and criminal cases in states where gender-affirming health care is illegal.

The consent decree permanently bars the state from restoring the exclusionary piece of coverage.

No monetary damages were awarded but the state will have to pay Toomey’s legal fees.

 

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Judge affirms Arizona can no longer exclude gender-affirming care from state health plans