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.


We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

The woman who struck the 17-year-old in a hit-and-run case was possibly driving a 2008-2012 Chrysle...

Hit-and-run suspect leaves Phoenix teen with broken legs

The hit-and-run left a teenage boy with two broken bones and other injuries.

1 hour ago

Panoramic file photo of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. The Federal Aviation Administrati...

Weekend Wrap: Here are the biggest Phoenix news stories from June 21-23

Here are some of the top Phoenix news stories from June 21-23.

3 hours ago

Two suspects were arrested in connection with a May homicide. (Pexels photo and MCSO mugshot)...

Teen suspects arrested for alleged connection with May homicide in Phoenix

Two suspects were arrested for their alleged involvement in a Phoenix homicide that left a man shot dead in his car in May.

4 hours ago

Cars are seen driving on a wet street through drops on a window or windshield on a rainy day....

Tucson experiences heavy rain, additional rain expected throughout Valley

Tucson experienced a wave of thunderstorms this weekend with winds up to 73 mph. Addtional rainfall is to be expected Sunday night throughout the Valley.

5 hours ago

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks at Planned Parenthood, March. 14, 2024, in St. Paul, Minn. Harr...

Associated Press

‘Everything is at stake’ for reproductive rights in 2024, Harris says ahead of Arizona visit Monday

Kamala Harris said ahead of a campaign visit to Arizona on Monday “everything is at stake” with reproductive rights in November's election.

6 hours ago

The Arizona Transportation Board has approved a five-year transportation facilities construction pr...

Bailey Leasure

Arizona Transportation Board approves 5-year plan for highway improvements

The Arizona Transportation Board has approved a five-year transportation facilities construction program plan to improve highways.

8 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.



Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.


DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

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